Douglas graduates ready to take the wheel
On Saturday, graduates of the Douglas High and ASPIRE Academy Classes of 2020 will literally be in the passenger seat, but after receiving their diplomas, they will be ready to take the wheel to steer their own futures.
High school graduates will wear their caps and gowns as they are driven in a vehicular procession through Gardnerville and Minden to the parking lot of the high school.
There, row by row, they will get out of their cars, walk to the podium wearing a mask, remove it for a photo and then get back into the vehicle.
Highway 395 through Gardnerville and Minden will be closed to traffic from Waterloo Lane to Buckeye Road around 8:30 a.m. as the procession lines up, according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
Roads along the route that will be closed include Waterloo, Esmeralda Avenue, Eighth Street, County Road, Highway 88 and Mahogany Drive and any side streets.
With around 400 participants between the two schools, graduates are limited to one vehicle each, according to Principal Joe Girdner. Seniors participating in the procession have already received a letter indicating when they should arrive at the procession.
Spectators won’t be allowed to park on the highway, according to the county. But they should be able to find a space in one of the parking lots or along a side street, just as they do for the Carson Valley Days Parade.
On Tuesday, seniors exchanged their Chromebooks for caps, gowns and tassels, which they will be required to wear.
Each vehicle will have an orange ticket as they gather in the parking lots of Lampe Park and the Douglas County Recreation and Senior Center in Gardnerville.
“During the ceremony, graduates will come individually onto stage and be recognized,” Girdner said. “Groups of cars will be moved to the front of the parking lot for a front-row view of their seniors walking across the stage.”
Families are required to remain in their cars at all times during the ceremony. After receiving their diploma cover, graduates and their families may leave or swing around to watch the rest of the graduation.
“We would love for the very last graduate to have the same great audience the very first candidate has,” Girdner said. Graduates and their families who choose to stay will be directed where to park.
“Please be considerate of others while participating in the procession and ceremony,” Girdner said. “Let’s allow families an opportunity to celebrate the Class of 2020 in a manner that is respectful and meaningful.”
Douglas High expects to begin the actual graduation ceremony around 11 a.m. after all cars have arrived from the procession.
ASPIRE Academy students will start their ceremony at around 1:30 p.m.
ASPIRE Principal Marty Swisher offered his thanks to several people for supporting the school, including Stacy Trivitt at All State Insurance, the Carson Valley Inn, the Kyle Rush Team at Guild Mortgage, the Nevada Home Finder Koerner Group at RE/MAX, R&S Optimum Offset, the Suicide Prevention Network, Karl Moe at Two Stone Slab and Tile, the Hipple family, the Rohde family, the Trujillo family, the Wass family, Caralee White, and Judy Williams for their recognition and support for ASPIRE seniors and the Class of 2020.