Monmouth Academy Principal Rick Amero leads seniors in a group cheer before marching into graduation ceremonies June 9, 2019. For this year’s ceremony the students, and Amero, won’t be able to be that close, but they will all graduate together in a socially distanced ceremony. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal file

With most Monmouth Academy’s seniors having gone through school together for their entire careers, they really wanted to graduate with their classmates.

And the school was able to get creative to make that happen.

So, when the seniors gather at 6 p.m. Sunday, they will be able to march in and sit together — albeit appropriately socially distanced — for a final time as Monmouth Academy students.

“We’ve been meeting with the seniors through the past two months, and they wanted to be on school campus (for graduation),” said Principal Rick Amero. “So, we looked at every way we could do that for them.

“They’ve been a fantastic group, they just wanted to be together and honor some Monmouth Academy traditions,” he added.

Amero said the school monitored the state’s evolving guidelines and were hoping they would see the gathering limit increase to 50. That happened Monday, allowing for the students to be together for graduation Sunday.

To start the ceremony, seniors will march along Academy Road — which will be closed to traffic — to the lower parking lot. There they will be seated at appropriate social distances.

Families of the students will then be allowed to watch the proceedings from their vehicles, around the perimeter of the parking lot.

There will be platforms set up for each of the honors speakers, who will all address students during the ceremony, as well as a student reading a flower poem.

“(The poem) is a tradition, and a dedication to their parents,” said Amero.

Each senior will be able to cross the platform and pose for a photo with their diploma as well as their principal.

“We found a way to be able to have me in the picture with them and still (stay) 6-feet apart,” Amero said. “Believe it or not, the kids want me to be in the picture with them.

“Unfortunately, I can’t hand them their diplomas or hug them,” he added.

On Friday night, seniors were gathering at Monmouth Academy’s gymnasium for Class Day, where scholarships and awards were being presented. No guests were able to attend that but could watch the event via a livestream; graduation also will be streamed for family members who are not able to be there in person.

“Families are limited to one vehicle, except in the cases where they have stepparents,” Amero said. “We had to do that because of our space.

“Safety is the first priority for everyone involved,” he added. “Our second priority was for the students, and we are very fortunate to be able to honor these seniors.”

Amero said it was important for the seniors, who he said never complained during the months the school building was closed for instruction, to have the closure that comes with a graduation ceremony.

“They’ve lost so much. It was the last track season, the last one-act play,” he said. “We’ve all tried to make the best of a really challenging situation.”

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