HUDSON — Seniors who are graduating from Hudson High School will be celebrated at a parade next week and through a virtual commencement ceremony that will be shown at a drive-in theater in Ravenna next month.
Graduating seniors and a family member are invited to participate in "Be the Light Senior Night," a ceremonial parade that will happen at the high school campus, 2500 Hudson Aurora Road, on May 20 at 8 p.m.
A video recording of the various components of the commencement ceremony that will be filmed by Twinsburg-based Classic Telecommunications will be shown at the Midway Drive-In Theater in Ravenna on Route 59 on June 10 at 9:30 p.m.
May 20 was the originally scheduled date for the school’s traditional commencement ceremony, but that program was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the parade on May 20, seniors are being asked to wear their graduation cap, and sit in the front passenger seat of a vehicle while a family member drives them on a route through the high school campus, according to Hudson City School District spokesperson Sheryl Sheatzley. Graduates are also being encouraged to decorate their vehicles in a manner similar to how they would’ve decorated their caps, said District Superintendent Phil Herman.
"A senior and their families could drive that route and our teachers will be spaced apart…wearing masks and they’re there to wish our students well," said Herman in a video message to district residents.
The football stadium lights will be turned on, music will be played from the stadium scoreboard and city vehicles are expected to be on campus with lights flashing and sirens sounding.
On that night starting at 8:20 p.m., residents are encouraged to turn on their front porch lights to honor the Class of 2020.
"On [the seniors’] drive home [from the parade], help them to see that their community is supporting them and is proud of them," said Herman in the video message. "…Let’s show them how much we care for the Class of 2020 by turning on our lights."
Virtual commencement ceremony will be shown June 10
For the virtual commencement ceremony, seniors can sign up for a time slot to be videoed in their cap and gown at Memorial Stadium.
The showing of the video at Midway Drive-In on June 10 will include some interactive moments with car headlights and/or horns. The program will conclude with the playing of the alma mater, ringing of the victory bell and — weather permitting — a fireworks show. Each graduate’s family will receive a pass to attend the program. No buses or limousines will be allowed at the event, according to Sheatzley.
There are some other ways that seniors are being recognized. Sheatzley said signs have been put up in graduating seniors’ yards and a large banner containing all of the seniors’ names will be put up on the Merino Green this week.
Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.