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  • Fairbury News staff

Commencement held at PC

PCHS grads Audrey Whitlock, left, and Emily Wilkey are shown outside after graduation Friday.

Prairie Central High School honored graduating seniors with separate commencement programs Friday night.

Students were split into three different groups for a graduation walkthrough experience while taking into consideration health guidelines offered by the CDC, Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health. Each graduate was allowed to have two guests.

Graduate Dalton Strowmatt of Fairbury was devastated when his senior year got cut short as he wanted to spend more time with friends before leaving the halls of PCHS.

“I’m not going to lie to you – it wasn’t what I was hoping for, but I got my diploma and that’s all that really matters,” Strowmatt said following the ceremony.

Will Tatro of Strawn admits this type of commencement was a different experience but was glad to participate.

“It seems surreal but I’m glad it’s here though,” said Tatro.

Like all of his fellow graduates, Tatro had no idea his last day in March was going to be his last day in the high school.

“That’s probably the worst part but you can’t do anything about it.”

Emily Wilkey of Fairbury found the commencement interesting since nothing has been done like this before. She said it was better than nothing or simply having a diploma mailed. Wilkey feels the school year was a bit chaotic but was handled well.

“I commend teachers for that and they made it as easy as possible,” Wilkey noted.

Even though the graduation style was not how many hoped it would be, graduate Audrey Whitlock of Fairbury was glad to have some type of ceremony.

“I was more or less preparing myself for not even having this kind of thing,” she said.

Despite the strangeness of the school year, everything eventually worked out for Whitlock with online learning. She plans to attend Heartland Community College.

“We all pulled together as a community and did it well,” Whitlock added.

Anyone attending Friday evening’s ceremonies was required to wear a face covering although graduates could remove coverings to receive their diploma and have a photo taken. A photographer was on hand for individual pictures in front of a backdrop.

All graduates and families will have access to a professional video which will include the various graduation speeches. Also, parents will have the chance to purchase portraits.

Graduates Dalton Strowmatt, left, and Will Tatro pose outside the school Friday.

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