During Monday’s Delaware City Schools Board of Education meeting, discussions were held concerning graduation and a bleacher expansion project.
The virtual meeting began with a presentation from Hayes High School Principal Ric Stranges, who recently announced the school would hold it’s graduation May 23 in a drive-through format rather than hold the ceremony virtually. On Monday, Stranges said he felt the class of 2020 deserved more than just a video ceremony. In the new format, graduates and their families will drive up in their cars and be handed a diploma through the window.
“As a parent with a senior at my house, I feel the pain of our students, our parents and our families, and even the board members,” Stranges said. “My own son will go through a virtual graduation ceremony in isolation. I love this group of seniors, and in an effort to provide a memorable and meaningful ceremony … we decided as a district to do more than just a virtual impersonal ceremony. We wanted families to be with their graduates and their classmates.”
Stranges added he’s met with City of Delaware officials, including the Delaware Police Department, as well as with officials from the Delaware General Health District to make sure the ceremony will be safe for everyone involved. He said the reception to the ceremony has been positive so far.
“In many ways we are pioneers and leaders in central Ohio,” Stranges said. “Now many districts are following our lead.”
Stranges said businesses in the community have also come together to support the Hayes High School Class of 2020. He said WDLR Radio will broadcast the ceremony over the radio, allowing families to hear “Pomp and Circumstance” and the names of other graduates. Stranges said Lifetouch photography is bringing two photographers to the event, and local videographers, Above The Light, will be recording and live streaming the entire ceremony.
Stranges added that Raising Canes, McDonalds, and The Dipped Donut will be donating food for seniors, while Chesrown Chevrolet Buick GMC in Delaware and Performance Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Delaware will be arranging transportation for families who have no vehicles.
“All of that is free,” Stranges said. “This is quite a community we want all of you to know. Our main goal is to keep students, families, staff, and first responders safe during the ceremony. We’ve done our due diligence. I want them to come together as a class and get the recognition they deserve. They chose to stay home to save lives. There’s no pandemic strong enough to silence this group. You provide the hope for our future.”
Also during Monday’s meeting, the board approved a bid advertisement for the Hayes Bleacher Expansion Project. Stranges said the new section will be dedicated to the class of 2020.
“They’ll be honored the way they should be honored,” he said.
The board also approved several staffing changes, including the resignation of Jennifer Heady, a third-grade teacher at Carlisle; Stephanie Shank, an intervention specialist at Schultz Elementary; and Amy Sheets, a School-Aged-Child-Care Program assistant for the district.
The board then approved the employment of Noelle Garner, a third-grade teacher at Schultz; Alyssa McVeigh, a second-grade teacher at Schultz; Megan Shaw, a first-grade teacher at Schultz; and Kellie Wheeler, a school nurse at Woodward Elementary School and Conger Elementary School.
The board also approved hundreds of dollars of donations to the Pacer Pantry. Board President Matt Weller thanked the community for supporting the program, which gives free food to families in need.
The board will next meet at 6 p.m. May 18.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.