District announces events to honor Class of 2020

The Johnstown High School administration is pleased to announce plans for the Class of 2020 Senior Celebrations. This special group of young adults has endured a senior year culminating in uncertainty, cancellations and disappointments.

“We all know we cannot have the high school graduation ceremony traditionally experienced by Johnstown High School graduates, but our objective has been to plan the best experience we can for our students and families given the current situation,” said Interim Superintendent Dr. Karen Geelan.

The celebration events are as follows:

Saturday, June 13 – Senior Salute Caravan – 1:00 p.m.

Seniors will drive through Johnstown to the campus while teachers and staff wave to them while practicing social distance measures along the route.

Thursday, June 25 – Awards Assembly – 6:00 p.m.

(Virtual) awards assembly, recorded for later viewing, too.

Thursday, June 25 – A Tribute to the Johnstown High School Class of 2020 – 7:00 p.m.

This 26-minute tribute to our seniors will be shown on the CW Network and streamed on the CBS 6 website.

Friday, June 26 – Baccalaureate – 6:00 p.m.

(Virtual) The Council of Churches carries on the tradition addressing this year’s graduates.

Saturday, June 27 & Sunday, June 28 – Class of 2020’s Moment on Knox Field

Seniors will be given an appointment time to arrive in cap and gown regalia with up to 6 guests and have their pictures taken at the banner, hear the graduate’s name called, walk across to receive their diploma and any scholarship or award, and proceed to the next picture spot (“J” and “2020” on the hill), and exit on 1st Avenue.

Sunday, June 28 – Johnstown’s Class of 2020 Graduation Celebration at the Ozoner 29 – 9:00 p.m.

A professionally created video of the commencement speeches (valedictorian, salutatorian, class president, principal, superintendent and BOE president), a tribute to each senior, pictures, and short video clips will be shown on the screen. We are confirming plans for an Independence Day-style fireworks display at its conclusion.

The decisions regarding commencement are grounded in a concern for public health and safety during this dangerous pandemic. Geelan continued, “Our senior celebrations have been planned with the consultation of the Johnstown Police and Fulton County Public Health Department, and are guided by the executive orders of Governor Cuomo and the NYS Department of Health.”

Johnstown High School Principal Scott Hale held numerous meetings with various groups and surveyed the senior class to determine their priorities for graduation recognition.

“Why wouldn’t we want to know, rather than assume, what is most important to our seniors? Their priorities should drive our plans for their commencement exercises,” said Mr. Hale. “Meetings were held with teachers and parents, too. Students do not want to miss out on experiencing graduation on Knox Field, and 70% of the seniors responding to the survey indicated a strong desire to have their families present at graduation.”

There will be safety guidelines and details for each planned event, which will be sent out through the ParentSquare communication system and posted on the district website.

“We hope our Johnstown Schools community will extend the enthusiasm of our recent ‘Light the Night’ event and join us in celebrating our seniors throughout June,” Principal Hale said.