Animas High School Class of 2021 Graduation
We’re REALLY excited for your graduation ceremony in just 9 days!
We've received the official okay from the county and I spent this morning out at the venue, putting the finishing touches on our graduation plans with John Oakes and his crew. The ceremony location is stunning, with the snow-capped La Plata Mountains as the backdrop (as you can see in my feeble artistic rendering, above). There is no shelter at the venue, and we suggest being prepared for weather--pack a raincoat and a sun hat and hope for the best!
The graduation ceremony will be held at event organizer John Oakes' Ranch at 10778 County Road 120 in Hesperus at 4:00 on Friday, May 28 and will be tailgate-style, with families setting up and viewing the ceremony from parking spots while graduates and faculty sit in socially-distanced chairs up front.
Arrival and Parking Instructions
Each family should arrive at the ranch, which is a 25 minute drive from AHS, by 3:15pm. Each student will only be allowed to park one vehicle unless we have approved your request for two cars through the Graduation RSVP Form. We expect the ceremony to be complete by 5:30pm and a car parade through downtown Durango will follow.
Seniors--please arrive wearing your cap with tassel, gown and gold stole. You will receive your caps and gowns at Senior Supper the night before graduation at AHS, 6-8pm. Your tassel should be on your right side for the duration of the ceremony, until Sean instructs you to move it at the end. Wear comfortable shoes that work walking on uneven ground and feel free to decorate your caps.
Upon arrival at the ranch, you will be directed to a parking spot. Larger vehicles will be parked to the side and back so as to maximize sight lines to the stage area. Guidance will be provided throughout the entire parking process. Turn your motor off once parked and set up your tailgate area. We encourage you to get creative--decorate your car and bring camp chairs and decor for your tailgate party!
Once parked, seniors should make their way to the front where we will help everyone line up in alphabetical order to the side so they are prepped to walk onstage as a class once the ceremony begins. We'll circulate throughout the venue to distribute the AHS Senior Celebration Booklet to families.
PLEASE NOTE that under no circumstances will vehicles be permitted to depart the area before the conclusion of the entire ceremony. There will be port-a-potties on site.
Graduation Ceremony Program
Typically, we would have a graduation rehearsal prior to the ceremony but that’s not an option this year, so please read through the following ceremony outline a few times!
The ceremony will begin promptly at 4:00. We will begin with seniors Lindsay Levine and Alyssa Nicoly singing the National Anthem, followed by Sean’s welcome. Student speakers Britt Autry, Billie Brand and Rosie Gurnee will be followed by faculty speakers Steve Smith and Lori Fisher.
After the speakers, we move into the graduates’ procession to receive their diplomas. Jess Morrison will cue each row to stand when it's their turn. Christine Imming will read names and Stephen Sellers, Ashley Carruth and Jessica McCallum will take turns sharing information about each graduate as they walk to receive their diploma and shake Sean's hand, all to the song they've preselected as their personal soundtrack. Graduates will then walk from the stage, in front of the staff chairs and over to Bridget Stowers, who will direct them to a pop-up tent where Karen Skelly will take individual photos with diplomas. Bridget will direct graduates after their photo to proceed behind the first row of cars and back to Jess, who will help them make their way back to their seats.
Each student’s song submission will be played during their procession. It is not too late to submit your song request! Please email email@example.com with your song request as soon as possible. If a song was not designated or approved in advance, a song will be selected for you.
After all graduates receive their diplomas, Sean will close the ceremony, inviting the AHS class of 2021 to flip tassels from graduate’s right to left as they officially become alumni.
Social distancing will be maintained throughout the processional and masks will be required throughout the ceremony, though seniors may choose to pull masks down for their photos.