(Alexandria, MN) When you look in the history books of graduating classes in Alexandria, the class of 2021 will have had one of the most unique experiences of any prior and hopefully, any to follow. Despite a year of COVID protocols and hybrid learning, the approximately 300 students in the class were part of graduation ceremonies Friday night.
The graduation ceremony took place Friday, June 4th at 5:30pm inside the AAHS gymnasium. The commencement address was given by AAHS School Counselor and Girls Track Coach Meghan Orgeman. Two students, Aubrey Kosters and Nick Nelson, gave talks during the graduation ceremony. In her talk Aubrey talked about the journey through all the years in school together but added emphasis to the last year when she said, "All these years later I look out among you so thankful I can see every single one of you in one place at one time, and see how much we've grown together." Nick told of how odd it was to see a teacher outside of school and realizing that they have a life too. Then, because of distance learning, how odd to have those same teachers on every device they own, in every room of your house. He noted how his commute went from 15 minutes to a mere 2 seconds, and still he was frequently late. He summarized his thoughts with, " Though it hasn't been the year we imagined, we've definitely made the most of it. Afterall, things haven't changed that much. Our teachers are still making dumb jokes, we're still forgetting whether or not we're on an advisory schedule, we're still working hard and challenging ourselves, we're still connected to one another, we're still laughing and smiling and excited about the future. I've learned that it's not about the building, but rather the relationships and the community that make our high school so great."
The ceremony was streamed live on the Alexandria Public Schools website and on Charter Cable Channel 181. (A link to the video is below)
Following the ceremony was a car processional that wrapped around the northern side of Alexandria until ending at the Runestone Community Center.
Alexandria Public Schools Communication Outlined the Details
At rehearsal, a designated number of tickets will be given to every graduating senior for family and friends to attend the ceremony. Tickets are required for admittance.
Students should park in the North “A” lot (Bus/Delivery/PAC entrance); and Parents should park in the South “C” lots (Main entrance). Designated overflow parking is south of the Stadium. Courtesy golf carts will offer transport from the main lot to the front doors for anyone in need of assistance. A campus map is linked here as a reference.
Doors will open at 4:30pm. To alleviate congestion, families with last name of A-K please enter through the Main Door #1; families with last name K-Z please enter through Activities Door #2.
Following our last communication, MDE clarified that mask requirements only apply during the instructional day and while riding on school transportation. Since our graduation ceremony is taking place outside of the instructional day - masks are recommended, but not required, at the ceremony for graduates and guests.
We want all of our guests to feel comfortable attending. If you prefer to wear a mask, you are welcome to bring one. As a courtesy to our guests, masks will be available on a table with hand sanitizer as you enter.
The graduation ceremony will be available to view through live streaming in the Performing Arts Center should any family/friends prefer a socially distanced space and live streamed on the website for those unable to attend in person.
We are excited to have the Alexandria Police Department provide resources and time to lead the senior car procession after the graduation ceremony. We recommend that parents drive their graduate in the processional. It allows parents to celebrate their son/daughter and also allows our seniors the ability to wave and fully enjoy our community celebrating this special occasion. Click here for a map of the processional route.
Graduation Day - Friday, June 4 Overview
- 10:00 a.m. Graduation Rehearsal for all Seniors
- 11:15 a.m. Senior Picnic for all seniors (Time to sign yearbooks; time for photos with friends; time for staff to connect with seniors.)
- 5:30 p.m Graduation Ceremony for all seniors
- 6:45 p.m. Time for seniors and families to take photos outside of AAHS
- 7:40 p.m Begin staging for processional at DMS (Coordinated and led by Alexandria Police Department)
- 8:15 p.m. Processional begins at DMS and ends at the RCC
- 9:00 p.m. Senior Graduation Party at RCC