Vernon Hills High School gives grads a COVID-era commencement
Class of 2020
  • Senior Nicole Behling of Vernon Hills was the first to take the stage and have her photo taken with Vernon Hills High School Principal Jon Guillaume. The school held a diploma distribution ceremony for its 2020 graduates Thursday at Rust-Oleum Field.

      Senior Nicole Behling of Vernon Hills was the first to take the stage and have her photo taken with Vernon Hills High School Principal Jon Guillaume. The school held a diploma distribution ceremony for its 2020 graduates Thursday at Rust-Oleum Field. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Vernon Hills High School senior Jathan Alexander of Vernon Hills has his photo taken by family members during Thursday's diploma distribution ceremony at Rust-Oleum Field. The banner has the names of the school's more than 350 graduates.

      Vernon Hills High School senior Jathan Alexander of Vernon Hills has his photo taken by family members during Thursday's diploma distribution ceremony at Rust-Oleum Field. The banner has the names of the school's more than 350 graduates. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Vernon Hills High School graduate Alex Wang poses for a photo with Principal Jon Guillaume during Thursday's diploma distribution ceremony at Rust-Oleum Field.

      Vernon Hills High School graduate Alex Wang poses for a photo with Principal Jon Guillaume during Thursday's diploma distribution ceremony at Rust-Oleum Field. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Vernon Hills High School held a diploma distribution ceremony Thursday at Rust-Oleum Field. Families took photos of their seniors on the school's football field during the event.

      Vernon Hills High School held a diploma distribution ceremony Thursday at Rust-Oleum Field. Families took photos of their seniors on the school's football field during the event. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 7/23/2020 6:04 PM

An unusual final year of high school was capped with an out-of-the-ordinary graduation ceremony Thursday for Vernon Hills High School's Class of 2020.

With music playing and a large banner containing the names of the class members hanging nearby, graduates walked across a stage at the school's Rust-Oleum Field to receive their diplomas. Each took a photo with Principal Jon Guillaume after his or her name was read over the stadium's speakers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Graduate Nicole Behling of Vernon Hills was the first to take the stage. She had to work Thursday but was glad to participate before her shift.

"It's wonderful just for them to do anything at all in these times. It's just above and beyond," she said. "It's really important, especially for my family. I'm the last line of Behlings, so it was really important to get that in for the family."

A previously recorded virtual ceremony also was released on YouTube Thursday evening. The video contains a welcome from senior class President Cece Schumacher and senior class speech from Elisabeth Kleidon. School officials also share encouraging words for the graduates.

Libertyville High School is holding a similar event Sunday.

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