Members of Schaumburg High School's Class of 2020 didn't get the graduation they expected when senior year began back in August, but they still got a send-off Wednesday that they'll never forget.
Nearly all of Schaumburg High's 528 graduates made the trip to Boomers Stadium for a celebration hastily organized by school leaders and students trying to make the best of a challenging situation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This is truly the best community event we could offer the kids. We had three weeks to put together, so it was tight," said Michele Napier, assistant principal and activities director.
Napier worked with 25 students behind the scenes to organize the event, held on the day graduates were scheduled to take part in a traditional commencement ceremony at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates. "They were really wanting to be able to celebrate somehow, and this is a great tribute to them," Napier said.
Cars carrying graduates and their families wound through the stadium parking lot aisles before entering the ballpark in right field. Names of the graduates were read from a stage near home plate. Many of the students wore their caps and gowns.
"Under the circumstances, this is something we wanted to offer our students," Napier said.