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B-P graduation set for drive-in

The Ozoner-29 Drive-In Theater in Broadalbin. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

BROADALBIN — Like all school districts in the Mohawk Valley region, Broadalbin-Perth Central School District has been working to find ways to give its graduating class of 2020 the recognition they deserve with some form of a graduation commencement.

Broadalbin-Perth will be holding its graduation ceremony on June 25 at the Ozoner Drive-In. Superintendent Stephen Tomlinson said a time has yet to be chosen since all the details are still being worked out, but will most likely be some time in the evening.

“The Broadalbin-Perth graduation class of 2020 deserves to have that right of passage,” Tomlinson said. “They deserve to be recognized for their commitment over the past 13 years. It’s our responsibility to give students what they deserve.”

The district made the announcement this week in a creative way by having the class officers deliver the message to their peers by making a video. That video can be seen on the district’s Facebook page.

Tomlinson said he felt “strongly” that they be the ones to give the good news.

“We felt relief for them,” Tomlinson said. “They can now see how strongly the Broadalbin-Perth community recognizes them as the Broadalbin-Perth class of 2020.”

The school district was considering several other options to hold a commencement ceremony for the seniors.

Therefor, along with the event at the drive in on June 25, they will also be featured on a virtual commencement ceremony on news channel 15 from 7-8 p.m. on June 26.

Although the exact details of the drive in graduation ceremony have not been figured out just yet, the event will not be open to the public. Only immediate family or a students’ guardian will be allowed to attend the commencement. Media will be allowed to cover the event, but will be required to check in and have press badges on.

“It’s unfortunate, but it has to be done in order for us to be compliant with the COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines,” Tomlinson said.

He said they have been working closely with Fulton County Department of Health Director Laurel Headwell.

They are trying to come up with a creative way to hand out diplomas to graduates one at at time. Tomlinson said they will project recorded speeches on the screen.

He would like to thank Darci Wemple and her family who run the Ozoner 29. They plan to follow all guidelines and restrictions.

“We in no way want to compromise their business,” Tomlinson said.

If there is bad weather on June 25, the rain date is scheduled for July 9.

Tomlinson said he’d also like to thank and recognize HFM BOCES District Superintendent David Zinskin for coordinating and helping all local school districts plan something for the students.

“His leadership is outstanding,” Tomlinson said.

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