The 2020 Alexandria senior class didn’t have the graduation they thought they would have when the year started, but that didn’t stop them from making the most of it.

The night started with a live stream of speeches and performances. Students and their families tuned in at home while waiting for their turn to head to the school. Once the first part of the ceremony concluded, the school split the students into two groups.

Students celebrate at the Alexandria Area High School Graduation on Friday night. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)
Students celebrate at the Alexandria Area High School Graduation on Friday night. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)

With a limit of one car per family, the school allowed the students to drive up to the South entrance at Alexandria Area High School, receive their diploma and take a picture on the stage. The second part of the event was also live-streamed for friends and family that could not tag along to the school.

While at the school, students received gifts. After a typical graduation, Alexandria conducts a lockdown celebration where the students get one last sendoff with their friends. Usually, they have the chance to win donated prizes. Because of the global pandemic, the gathering wasn’t allowed by the school. However, the school continued with the raffle and gave out the prizes with the diplomas.

The drive-thru portion of graduation went according to plan. There was minimal wait for the students with the organization efforts from the school paying off.

Mayson Toft (left) and Chad Duwenhoegger share smiles at the Alexandria Area High School Graduation on Friday night. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)
Mayson Toft (left) and Chad Duwenhoegger share smiles at the Alexandria Area High School Graduation on Friday night. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)

Students had a few hours to relax before the car processional at 8:30. The escort led all participating vehicles around town passing by the grade schools in Alexandria. The end of the route led to Viking Speedway, where a firework show capped off the eventful night. While graduation was different, the students and staff will remember it for years to come.

“The entire afternoon and evening was a fun celebration of our young men and women,” parent Karen Meuwissen said. “What could have been a sad, disappointing day ended up being an uplifting joyous experience. From the virtual graduation to the drive through stage walk to the processional through town to the fireworks, our high school and our community made our graduates feel special. I don’t know how many times my son said, “This is really cool – I love this!”