The Evergreen Speedway has decided to host complimentary graduations to four local high schools for the class of 2021. According to the Speedway, Seattle Prep, Monroe, Snohomish, and Glacier Peak high school will make up the list of schools.
Traci Hobbs, Director of Sales and Marketing at the Speedway explained how they had attempted to offer the facilities last year, but most schools weren’t able to set it up in time. “last year University Prep came and did a drive through graduation last year and it was pretty well received,” said Hobbs.
The Speedway prides themselves on being proud members of the community. Hobbs said many students work for them over the summer, so they wanted to give back and offer the memory of a lifetime. “The Speedway and the grandstands are like a giant community center that everyone is welcome to participate at,” said Hobbs. “We just wanted to be a part of the solution and give the kids an outdoor spot to have their graduation ceremony.”
In the Speedway’s press release, they explained that the class of ’21 have missed out on various special events, Homecomings, Proms and other traditional gatherings that would normally be happening and going on during their senior year. “This opportunity represents a huge step up and a vast improvement on the digital graduation ceremonies that took place last year,” said the release.
Doug Hobbs, CEO of Evergreen Speedway is delighted to give the students the opportunity to experience this occasion. “The pandemic has challenged everyone in so many ways, and school kids have been among those worst affected, so to be able to stage a proper graduation ceremony is the least we could do and we are thrilled to provide this opportunity,” said Hobbs.
Having giant bleachers was a selling point for many of the schools. The space allows each school to give every senior four tickets for friends and family members to attend. Additionally, the fairgrounds have generously offered all the chairs for the event, so each school will be saving a bit of money. The venue will have students sitting socially distanced on the tarmac area between the bleachers and the catch fence, with a presentation stage for the handing out of diplomas.
The Monroe High School class of ’20 wasn’t able to have an in-person event last year. As a result, Assistant Principle Jeannette Siemers wouldn’t let that happen again. “Our job is to serve them, love them, and build them up before they leave us,” said Siemers. “We are honoring them and celebrating them in the best way possible.”
She shared that the school couldn’t be more grateful for the relationship with Doug and Traci Hobbs at Speedway. “We absolutely could not have pulled this off by ourselves, they have bent over backwards for us… I don’t have words to describe how thankful we are,” said Siemers.
Closure and the opportunity for students to finish things out when leaving high school is important for any student’s journey. Siemers felt that last year’s students were not able to experience that because everything ended so quickly last year.
Snohomish High School (SHS) Principal, Eric Cahan has similar feelings towards this years celebration. “The kids will get to be recognized, noticed and celebrated by their community and school in the manner in which they are deserving,” says Cahan. “The whole idea of rallying around our kids as a community comes to life at graduation ceremonies and this will be a really special ceremony.” The SHS seniors who graduated last year also had a drive through ceremony that was described as very personal and high energy. This year, SHS will have 380 seniors participating in the celebration.
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The dates of the respective events are:
Monroe High School : Friday, June 11, 2021
University Prep : Monday, June 14, 2021
Snohomish High School : Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Glacier Peak : Tuesday, June 15, 2021