Cloquet High Seniors Pick Up Graduation Cap and Gowns Drive-Thru Style

Teachers, Family and Community members wear purple and come out in support.

CLOQUET, Minn.- Picking up your graduation cap and gown is a big moment for high school seniors. So the Cloquet High School Administration and the surrounding community made it even bigger, while still maintaining social distance–having them available as a drive-thru.

“It really boiled down to some form of togetherness,” said Principal Steve Battaglia.

A chorus of honks greeted Cloquet High School seniors, as a crowd of cars celebrated the precursor to their big day.

“Today we’re kind of handling the business part of being senior,” Battaglia said. “At the end of the year you gotta do all this kind of housekeeping, you gotta hand out yearbooks, we gotta hand out caps and gowns.”

Students were announced as their car filed in to pickup their graduation gear. “The moment of like actually getting it, and actually get it in my hands, it’s just, it’s crazy,” said senior Rylie Doherty.

The clothes, that mark the end of their high school career.

“Like, it’s hard to see, like, it’s over. But it’s always a good ending,” she said. “This is so much different than a normal graduation, so it makes it feel like they’re doing special things just for us and I absolutely love it.”

CHS’s graduation is in two weeks, where students will be filmed walking across stage and accepting their diploma. That will then be compiled and shown drive-in style to families as they sit in their cars.

Staff, community members and family made up the sea of purple, clapping as students rounded the corner with their caps and gowns.

“To finally have something somewhat normal, feels really good, really good,” said Rylie’s mother, Tonia Myers. “I’m super proud of our town. Super proud.”

As they watched their children become adults in unprecedented times. “I used, I usually have a line in my graduation speech that tries to convince them that life does indeed get harder,” Principal Battaglia said.

“Well, they’re living that right now so I got to change that up, try to convince them that life will get easier, get better.”

Everyone guaranteed that this would be a day to remember, among all the days spent at home. “Walking in the hall with a kid, going to a game. Those are the things that aren’t really things you talk about as memories, that’s the crux of what we do,” he said.

And they ensured that this graduation will be just as special as others, if not more.

“It made me feel like graduating is that much more sweeter,” said Rylie.

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