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.