The ceremonies at Carlton and Wrenshall high schools Friday, May 28, had all the hallmarks of traditional graduations.
There were smiles, inside jokes, hugs and even a few tears, but the graduation ceremonies at Carlton and Wrenshall looked far more familiar than they did a year ago.
Carlton students were able to graduate in their gym, while in Wrenshall, people gathered in the school commons area because of renovations at the school’s gym.
It stood in stark contrast to services in 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when many schools had drive-through ceremonies, or in-person attendance was severely limited.
Wrenshall’s graduation was small enough, with just 19 graduates, to conduct the service without masks or too much social distancing.
In Carlton, with 32 graduates, there was still plenty of caution. A couple students were forced to attend remotely because of a potential COVID-19 exposure, Superintendent John Engstrom said. Families and guests of graduates had assigned, socially distanced seating.
During her remarks at the graduation, Wrenshall Superintendent Kim Belcastro said it has been tough with students at the school spending most of the 2020-21 school year in distance learning, but it was great to gather one final time as a group before they move on with the next stage of their lives.