A typical graduation at Glenbard West is certainly a sight to be seen. Glenbard West’s Principal, Dr. Monaghan, shares, “It has to be one of the best graduation ceremonies that [he’s] aware of in the area.” The gorgeous setting overlooking Lake Ellyn, music from Glenbard West’s choir and band, along with senior speeches all make for a remarkable event.
Although this year has been challenging for all students and staff, seniors have faced their own set of difficulties. Senior Lauren Alcock thought that the remote setting caused the college application process to be particularly difficult, explaining, “It was hard not to be able to go in and show [applications] to [her] counselor.” Ava Hartsell recognized that online school has “been a challenge for everyone,” but especially for seniors, as it is their last year at Glenbard West.
Despite the challenges, seniors have been appreciative of the experiences they have had. Ava has enjoyed “[covering] some of the sports events” and “[posting] them for the rest of the student body.” Lauren is “really grateful that [students] got to go back at all.” She also thinks that the increase in independent work “made it closer to what college will be like.”After a year of virtual and hybrid learning, both seniors would like to see a graduation similar to years past.
Assistant Principal for Student Services, Mr. Mitchell, said that Glenbard West is “working super hard to continue that tradition.” This year, graduation on Duchon Field will be split into two different ceremonies on Friday, May 21st. Dr. Monaghan is planning on notifying parents when the school opens an online scheduler, so families can sign up for either the afternoon or evening ceremony. There are plans for speeches and music, but Dr. Monaghan emphasized that “all of [the] plans right now are tentative.” Mr. Mitchell added that “each graduate will get two tickets” instead of the usual four. Those attending graduation should also expect “some sort of social distancing.”
Mr. Mitchell admires the Class of 2021 for “being positive and being resilient” throughout this difficult year. Dr. Monaghan acknowledges that “[Seniors] had to make a serious sacrifice” due to the pandemic, and “they’ve done an outstanding job of doing that with a lot of grace, and humility, and generosity towards others.”
As graduation approaches, Dr.Monaghan assures seniors that the school is “going to work as hard as [they] can to do as much as [they] can within the confines of what [is] allowed.”