116 Avonworth High School seniors graduated Friday evening at Lenzner Field in an outdoor, socially-distanced ceremony for the class of 2020, a notable change from the traditional early June ceremony with community members filling up the bleachers,

Changes due to coronavirus concerns included seating only three rows of graduating seniors at a time, with each row set for social distancing, as pictured above. | Matthew Purcell Avonews

While “Pomp and Circumstance” played over the field’s speakers,  31 masked students entered the field single file, finding their seats in evenly spaced out chairs across the track.  After the seniors had taken their seats,  guests also entered single file, stopping on chalk lines spaced evenly apart across the entrance way.  Only a few guests stood  in front of the graduates, as each senior was allowed only four guests.

After the single file procession, guests entered the stadium, stopping on socially distanced chalk marks on the pavement.    | Keyaira Cameron Avonews 













The first group of the graduating class of 2020 waiting to take their seats. | Matthew Purcell Avonews




The commencement ceremony was held four separate times, starting at 8:30 in the evening, an hour and half later compared to the usual 7 PM start time.  The final group was scheduled for 10:30 PM


Families waited in cars until Avonworth personnel directed them to the stadium | Matthew Purcell Avonews


Two more significant departures from the traditional ceremony were the addition of a DJ booth and a fireworks show as an intermission to the ceremonies.

In lieu of the marching band and chorus, a DJ booth played music over loud speakers placed across the entrance way. | Keyaira Cameron Avonews


The time of the graduation ceremony was altered to allow the “halftime” fireworks at 9:30 to be launched in the dark. | Matthew Purcell Avonews


For those who could not attend, the ceremony was live streamed via Facebook Live.


The commencement address was delivered by High School Principal Keera Dwulit. | Keyaira Cameron Avonews














Mara Bett (Right) and Lexie Archey (Left) called the names of the seniors to receive their diploma. | Matthew Purcell Avonews


Several students were also recipients of the Hannah Milbert Memorial Scholarship, which they received with their diploma.

Campbell McCann, Abby Dawley, Mara Bett, and Jake Elm, respectively,  stand with their diploma and award. | Keyaira Cameron Avonews





Maya Berg received recognition for her four-year National ROTC Scholarship to the University of Pittsburgh. | Keyaira Cameron Avonews
| Matthew Purcell Avonews














There was a brief “halftime” firework show over the baseball field, which could be seen from the stadium. | Matthew Purcell Avonews


After the ceremony, families were told to take the graduates yard signs home upon receipt of their diploma. | Keyaira Cameron Avonews 


School Board President Beau Blaser (Left) and superintendent Dr. Tom Ralston (Right) pronounced each of the ceremonies. | Matthew Purcell Avonews


At the conclusion of each of the ceremonies, School Board President Beau Blaser and superintendent Dr. Ralston, pronounced the graduation and the students turned their tassels before parading off the field.

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