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Liberty rallies around Class of 2020

LIBERTY — Because they couldn’t have a traditional graduation ceremony or final walk-through of their high school building, Liberty High School seniors were treated to a special vehicle parade led by township safety forces on Wednesday.

The 70 members of the Class of 2020 rode inside, and in some cases on top of, vehicles driven by family members and friends that traveled a 45-minute route all over the township.

Savanna Houk, 18, sitting on the back of a bright orange car driven by her grandparents, Bruce and Jeannette McIntosh, said she liked the idea of getting to travel all over the community and see people.

“We didn’t get to do everything that was planned for us, but this and other things are making up for it,” Houk said.

Principal Akesha Joseph said school staff and parents discussed what could be done to recognize the seniors.

“We usually do a final senior walk-through of the campus but we could not do that, so we decided on a drive-thru, which includes our community that has been very supportive to our seniors. The families can watch as the seniors are driven by and cheer them on,” Joseph said.

She said family members were encouraged to drive the vehicles so seniors could wave to people along the route.

Joseph said the virtual graduation, which was pre-recorded, will air 7 p.m. Friday on the school district website as well as Facebook and YouTube.

“We really didn’t have a formal graduation, so this was nice. This way we can see everybody and take part in one last final hurrah event,” Andrew Baumeier, 17, said.

“It’s nice to know everyone is showing support to the Class of 2020 because our senior year did not go as we had originally planned. It’s nice that people are trying to do their best to help us have a nice end for our senior year,” senior Alize Burgess, 18, said.

“I think this event is unique and different for us. We are all having fun even though it has been hard times for everyone,” Simi Moananu, 18, said.

Kristina Rowe, Moananu’s mother, said she was excited to be able to participate in the event for her son.

“This is something new and very positive for them and they are all getting recognized, which they deserve,” she said.

Kim Toth, a staff member in the Liberty High School guidance office, said she was passing out balloons for the seniors to tie on the outside windows and door handles of the vehicles.

Community members were encouraged to cheer on the seniors from their homes, sidewalks and parking lots.

bcoupland@tribtoday.com

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