The Troy High School Class of 2020 walked across the stage at the Troy Family Aquatic Center, accepting their diplomas, turning their tassels and posing for photos as their families watched from vehicles during commencement ceremonies June 20.

The Troy High School Class of 2020 walked across the stage at the Troy Family Aquatic Center, accepting their diplomas, turning their tassels and posing for photos as their families watched from vehicles during commencement ceremonies June 20.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Troy School District seniors enjoy pomp and circumstance

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published June 23, 2020

 The families of Athens High School Class of 2020 graduates get their photo ops from their vehicles at the Troy Family Aquatic Center June 20.

The families of Athens High School Class of 2020 graduates get their photo ops from their vehicles at the Troy Family Aquatic Center June 20.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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TROY — The city of Troy teamed up with the Troy School District to ensure that the Class of 2020 — graduating in unprecedented times — had the sendoff it worked so hard for.

In a June 16 letter to the Troy School District community, Superintendent Rich Machesky said the event “would be a series of four drive-through graduations billed as ‘Troy Community Graduation.’” The plan was to borrow the city’s portable stage and sound system and set it up in front of the Troy Family Aquatic Center.

“We would provide a backdrop for the stage that would change with each school’s graduation. … We have worked with police to have cones set up to have cars snake through the parking lot. At a point near the stage, students would exit their parents’ car and walk across the stage.

“We appreciate the support of the Troy police and the city of Troy to help us make this successful,” he added.

Communications Director Kerry Birmingham explained that students and their families started at the Troy Community Center, then got in line to drive over to the temporary stage set up at the Troy Family Aquatic Center. From there, the students got out of the cars, walked across the stage, got a professional photo taken and got their diplomas. School principals, Machesky, Assistant Superintendent Christine DiPilato and Board of Education trustees were on-stage as well. Parents were to remain in their cars.

“Then, if they are comfortable, they will head over to the photo area, where there will be a number of balloon/photo backdrops where students can take candid photos with small groups of friends,” Birmingham said via email before the event. “Then they exit the photo area and go home, where the official school graduation videos will premiere live on Facebook. These videos include a welcome from Rich (Machesky), the principal’s speech, student speakers, footage from each school’s senior celebration, as well as a photo of each graduate with their name being read out loud.”

“It went really well,” Machesky said June 22. “It was a lot of planning in a relatively short time. My general sense was that people were very appreciative and very happy with the day. We’re really pleased, all in all, with the outcome.”

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