The sounds of "Pomp and Circumstance" and shouts of joy echoed through Lake in the Hills as a team of dedicated Huntley High School officials hand-delivered diplomas to graduating seniors Tuesday.
Dressed in traditional graduation attire, Principal Marcus Belin and associate principals Danyce Letkewicz and Shelly Kish traveled from home to home aboard a bus. At each stop they gave a short congratulatory speech and took a group photo before climbing back on the bus and heading for the next graduate's home.
The five-day event started Monday, with 600 of the school's 736 graduates signed up for personal delivery. Tuesday's schedule included 120 stops.
Belin came up with the idea after seeing several Huntley senior yard signs displayed along his bicycling route.
"COVID-19 has taken away so much from many of us in so many different ways, and for our seniors, ending their high school career at home, I thought it would be very personable to drive around and visit the houses and celebrate with them in their driveways" Belin said. "That way they maintain social distancing and also bring family together to be able to see them receive their diploma."
Graduate Brianna Carlson said it was sad that she couldn't take her last steps in the school as a senior and say goodbye to her favorite teachers. But she was grateful for the diploma delivery.
"I think it's super cool since we can't really get that walk on the stage," said Brianna, who will be attending McHenry County College in the fall to study elementary education. "It's really nice that Dr. Belin is going around to over 500 houses and getting that celebratory moment for each individual student."
Belin said there's been an overwhelming response of joy and gratitude.
"Our students are happy, our families are happy, lot of tears and emotions as we travel from house to house," he said. "We haven't seen the students and for us to be able to see them, especially our seniors for maybe one last time, was very rewarding. So we are super thankful."