It may be more than a month later than the original graduation date, but the Marshall High School Class of 2020 will accept their diplomas – hopefully in person – Saturday, July 25. District administrator Dan Grady announced the date of the ceremony during the May 20 Marshall School Board meeting.

The district plans to hold the graduation at 1 p.m. with either an in-person or virtual event.

“Hopefully we will be in (Forward Dane’s) phase 3 where you can have larger group,” Grady said. “What does that mean if we have a face-to-face graduation? Our hope is to have that problem to solve.”

This ceremony would abide by the school board policy laying out the district have a publicly celebrated graduation

If Dane County is still in phase 2 of the Forward Dane initiative, which allows only up to 50 people to gather, graduation would be conducted virtually.

The day following the meeting, high school principal Sharin Tebo said multiple parties helped determine the graduation date, including students, parents and staff.

“We thought this date would have the best chances for a traditional ceremony,” she said, noting another reason the date was selected was to allow the district to prepare for a variety of situations.

One of the perks of waiting until the end of July is the school will be able to learn from other districts who held graduations earlier.

“We can find out about some of their successes and the hurdles and the downfalls that we can use to learn from to ensure our ceremony is going to be the best possible that we can provide,” Tebo said.

Additionally, the principal said the high school and district are incredibly grateful for everyone’s flexibility as they continue to navigate through the coronavirus pandemic.

“We just want to make (graduation) as meaningful and memorable as possible for seniors and their families and the community – that’s what we’re striving for,” Tebo said. “While we still have some unknowns … we want to do for our seniors what we’ve been able to do for our seniors in the past as best as possible. They deserve that.”

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