Central Maine dealership hosts Waterville Senior High School graduation
Graduation ceremonies around the country are looking a little different this year due to the pandemic.
However, COVID-19 did not stop nearly 100 seniors from Waterville Senior High School from getting their diplomas Thursday night.
"I'm pretty excited. With all that's happened, at least we got to do something," said graduate, Trafton Gilbert.
For the graduating class at Waterville Senior High School, these last few months have been challenging.
Students and staff have been away from the classroom since mid-March.
Due to the pandemic, seniors were forced to come up with an alternative way to celebrate.
That's where the owners of Central Maine Motors Auto Group come in.
Chris and Linanne Gaunce are 3rd generation owners of the dealership.
They graciously offered their parking lot to host graduation for the senior class.
Something parents and students alike were excited to hear.
"My hats off to the Gaunce's for allowing us to use their dealership and allow these kids to at least do something to celebrate all their achievements and look forward to their upcoming goals," said parent, Chris Gilbert.
While this is an unconventional ceremony at best, seniors say they're just happy they could be together again.
"We have to except the changes and do what we can do to from nontraditional and do it we can do to socially distance," said graduate, Daniel Gaunce.
The radio station, Mix Maine Media, broadcast the ceremony so those in their cars could listen.
With masks on, students were called up to the stage in groups of ten to receive their diplomas.
While this may not be the ceremony the Waterville Senior High School Class of 2020 envisioned, it certainly was a memorable one.
"Yeah, they are going to look back at this in 20 years and say, hey we were the ones that graduated during quarantine," said parent, Amy Gilbert.
Gaunce hopes this is a teachable moment for these seniors.
"A lot of times it's the attitude that you make that makes the success or makes the happiness and this is a great opportunity for these kids to learn that. No other class has had that opportunity, and I hope that they can learn that it's all about what you put into it and how you accept the challenge, and how you live up to the challenge, and how do you make it happen," said Gaunce.
"To the class of 2020 it has been a pleasure to be your principal,and I wish you the very best always!"