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Sharon Road neighbors were alerted to keep their social distance as they came out to cheer Webutuck High School senior Jillian Thorn, who was one of 47 who received a special delivery from Principal Katy McEnroe last week. Thorne, the daughter of Jennifer Beland, said she was “proud and happy” but was  also “sad to not be getting the same graduation as others had” in past years. Photo by Sue Marling

Webutuck graduation, part one

MILLERTON — Graduation, part one, for the Webutuck High School Class of 2020 kicked off under beautiful blue skies as Webutuck High School Principal Katy McEnroe drove throughout the entire district to deliver congratulations and paraphernalia to the 47 seniors who will be deprived of a traditional ceremony as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. 

At each home, she delivered a cap and gown, a lawn sign indicating “Webutuck Graduate 2020,” and  a green fleece blanket with “Webutuck Warrior 2020” written in white.

The drive was a sentimental journey for McEnroe, who said that as she moved through various buildings and positions in her 12 years with the district, she has spent a good deal of time with these class members as they worked their way up to their final all-important year.

That connection was further solidified as she would often see them before Governor Andrew Cuomo closed all New York schools in March due to the pandemic. McEnroe would often drop in to the senior lounge, which is adjacent to her office.

Webutuck Superintendent Ray Castellani said everyone associated with the class felt a great deal of sympathy for the students who had worked so hard throughout the years to reach this ultimate goal. When it became clear that a traditional graduation ceremony would not be possible, he, McEnroe and the class advisors brainstormed ways to provide the seniors with whatever memorable experience they could devise.

That will include a photographer, who will take pictures of each senior, which will be blown up to poster-size signs; and a videographer, who will take footage of each graduate marching across their lawn to receive their diploma, which will then be edited into a “ceremony,” which will also feature traditional speeches. That, as well as “a few surprises,” will be shared by a means not yet determined.

Following years of traditions, The Millerton News plans to publish individual photos of each graduating senior.

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