SANPETE COUNTY —In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that upended the usual festivities for high school graduations the past two years, graduation ceremonies for Sanpete’s outgoing seniors are going both traditional and nontraditional in 2022.
Manti High School
Manti High School will be hosting a parade on Friday, May 27 in lieu of a graduation ceremony this year, as voted on by the graduating seniors. The parade began as a replacement for the traditional graduation ceremonies during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The parade ended up being a huge success, with the seniors preferring it over the traditional ceremony.
Each graduate will receive a parade entry number during their senior checkout at the high school on May 23. The number will need to be placed on the driver’s side front window before the parade begins. Each vehicle can be decorated to celebrate the graduate’s accomplishments, and it is encouraged to decorate the vehicle with a banner bearing the student’s name.
There needs to be one graduate per vehicle, which should preferably be driven by someone else, so that the graduate can be present to receive their diploma.
Graduating seniors will need to begin lining up at the red brick building of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on 300 S Main Street in Manti. More information will be available at the senior check out.
A recording of the commencement speeches will begin at 4:45 p.m. airing on MTCC Channel 3 and 800 for HD, Mid-Utah Radio and live at live.manti.com.
The parade will begin at 5 p.m., where the vehicles will drive down Manti’s Main Street. The parade will continue until it hits the school marquee on the corner of 500 North and Main Street, where diplomas will be distributed. A photographer will be present, and the photographs will be available on the school website a few days after graduation.
Once the graduates have received their diplomas, they will travel west down 500 North to the school, where teachers from the school will be cheering them on. Students will then return their borrowed items at this time along with receiving their senior gift.
Graduates are encouraged to park their vehicles at the school and visit with their classmates following the parade. A pre-recorded digital copy of the commencement speeches and parade of graduates will be available to view on live.manti.com. It will also be available for purchase at MTCC, available at (435) 835-2929.
Gunnison Valley High School
Gunnison High School will also be going nontraditional with a parade of graduates. The parade will begin at 7 p.m. on May 27. The vehicles will line up and begin on 200 North and then go down 200 South on Gunnison’s Main Street. As the graduates get to the clock tower, instructions will be given. Each graduate will then receive their diploma and a photo will be taken.
Friends and relatives should park at a 45-degree angle along the parade route to allow for more parking spaces.
Along with the parade, a link with pre-recorded messages will be sent out to the graduates prior to the parade. The recording will include a presentation of colors by Bravo Battery 1 of the 145 Field Artillery. The national anthem will be played by the GVHS band, directed by Matt Weidner.
Additionally, viewers will be treated to a performance by the GVHS choir.
Class President Bridger Stevens will give the welcome address, followed by Salutatorian Mary Allred giving a speech titled, “The Hero Effect.” Valedictorian Carson Tucker will also be giving a speech, his titled, “Facing Adversity.”
The parade and presentation of diplomas will be streamed on local channel 10.
Wasatch Academy will be holding a more traditional graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 28. The commencement begins at 11 a.m. at the Wasatch Academy Field House. The graduates will march into the field house at this time, with bagpiper Jim Barclay leading them.
There will be four student speakers hailing from all over the world: Marija Krkovic from Belgrade, Serbia; Brian Reagan from Salt Lake City, Utah; Gonzalo Regalado from Antigo Cuscatlan, El Salvador; and Matus Hronsky from Poruba, Slovakia.
School officials will say a few words about each graduate, of which there are a total of 52 for the Class of 2022, as they receive their diplomas. They will state where the graduate is from, how many years they’ve been at the academy and where they are going to college.
There will be a reception immediately after the commencement ceremony at the Loftin-Lewis Student Center.
North Sanpete High School
North Sanpete will be holding a traditional ceremony this year in their gymnasium. Students will need to be at the school by 6:15 p.m. on May 27. The ceremony will begin at 7 p.m.
Jessica Blackham, Natalya Benson, Kason Ericksen, Heather Howarth and Brooke Johansen will all be speaking at the ceremony. There will also be a performance by the choir, directed by Timothy Kidder.