Nampa cheers on seniors with drive-by cap and gown pickup

NAMPA —  They came in muscle cars and vans, in sedans with dogs in the back seat and work trucks hauling trailers.

As the seniors pulled up to a curbside assembly-line of staff at Skyview High, each one had their name announced over a loudspeaker, received a cap and gown, and drove off to waives and cheers from teachers and counselors.

“Congratulations!” Skyview nurse Erin Strong told a student as she handed his gown through the passenger window of his car. “We hope you get to wear it!”

The Nampa School District hasn’t cancelled plans for graduation just yet. Administrators are holding out hope they can still host ceremonies in person, possibly later in the summer than their typical graduation.

“When we surveyed our students and parents, overwhelmingly they said ‘we want what our siblings had,’” district spokeswoman Kathleen Tuck said. “We’d really like to honor their wishes.”

But with the future of in-person ceremonies up in the air, Thursday’s cap and gown pick-up at Nampa High schools was at least a chance for staff to recognize senior’s accomplishments – and for students to cheer their teachers up.

Strong and school counselor Margie Voth were among a group of Skyview staff who battled wind and rain to pass out graduation paraphernalia. They shouted through masks, danced to keep warm, and held down canopies that jumped and wobbled in the wind.

Strong misses the kids, she said, and wanted to see the seniors who won’t be back to school when classes resume.

“It’s kind of nice to see their faces again and resist the urge to run up to give them hugs,” Strong said. “We don’t hug them when they’re in school —

“ — but all of a sudden you get the urge,” Voth finished.

Jesus Torres’ family had a big celebration planned for his graduation.

Torres, the middle child of five siblings, will be the first person in his household to graduate from high school. He started to get excited for the ceremony last  year when  he saw his cousin graduate. He was next in line.

“I feel bad because we’re all in quarantine and we’re not going to be all together,” Torres said on Thursday. “It was going to feel good. Now that we’re in quarantine, it kind of sucks.”

Ceremony or not, Torres said, his parents are proud.

“They’re super excited I’m going to be able to graduate this year,” Torres said. “That’s all they ever wanted for me was to be able to finish.”

Skyview librarian and AP English teacher Kellie March cheers for seniors picking up their caps and gowns. Sami Edge/Idaho EdNews
A Skyview Senior drives through the cap and gown pickup on Thursday, April 23. Sami Edge/Idaho EdNews
Teachers and staff listened for seniors’ names announced over the loudspeakers, then found cap and gown orders for pickup. Sami Edge/Idaho EdNews
Nurse Erin Strong hands a cap and gown to a student driving through the pickup line at Skyview High. Sami Edge/Idaho EdNews

 

Sami Edge

About Sami Edge

Reporter Sami Edge, a University of Oregon graduate, joined Idaho Education News in 2019. She is a 2019 Education Writers Association fellow reporting on Latino student outcomes in Idaho. She also is a 2019 American Press Institute fellow. She can be reached at [email protected].

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