Parker School Celebrates the Class of 2020

June 4, 2020, 8:30 AM HST (Updated June 4, 2020, 8:30 AM)
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  • Koko Silva-Alameda is all smiles after officially graduating from Parker School during a special drive-in ceremony on Friday, May 29. (Photo by Ethan Tweedie)
  • Stacee Firestone celebrates as her name is called to receive her high school diploma during Parker's special social distancing drive-in ceremony for the Class of 2020. (Photo by Ethan Tweedie)
  • Hunter Kalahiki-Arbrister stands with his mom during Parker School's drive-in graduation ceremony. (Photo by Ethan Tweedie)
  • SWIPE LEFT OR RIGHT
    • Koko Silva-Alameda is all smiles after officially graduating from Parker School during a special drive-in ceremony on Friday, May 29. (Photo by Ethan Tweedie)
    • Stacee Firestone celebrates as her name is called to receive her high school diploma during Parker's special social distancing drive-in ceremony for the Class of 2020. (Photo by Ethan Tweedie)
    • Hunter Kalahiki-Arbrister stands with his mom during Parker School's drive-in graduation ceremony. (Photo by Ethan Tweedie)

Parker School celebrated the graduation of 29 seniors during its 44th commencement.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the celebration was a live virtual graduation ceremony on May 29, which was open to all. Keeping with school tradition, the live virtual ceremony included several members of the Class of 2020 dancing the hula to “Waimea ‘Aina Hanohano,” which was performed individually and the pre-recorded clips were stitched together into one compilation video.

Following the live virtual ceremony, seniors and their immediate family members attended a special drive-in program on Parker’s lower school campus. Parking in stalls eight feet apart designed with custom yard signs, graduates wore their cap and gown and exited their vehicle as their name was called to lei their parents in appreciation and receive their diploma from loved ones. After each graduate was recognized, students stood in front of their vehicle and together moved their tassels from right to left, officially marking them as graduated.

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“This was a truly outstanding senior class, and we wished to do everything we could to make their graduation as special as we could, given the limitations that this pandemic has imposed on all of us,” said Parker School Headmaster Carl Sturges.

Organized by graduates and their families, the day’s festivities ended with a police-escorted parade through Waimea to streets lined with well-wishers honking, cheering, and waving them on.

“This class will forever be remembered by Parker School for their determination, their tenacity and their ability to collectively problem-solve,” says Joanie Brotman, Parker School’s college counselor.

Brotman continued, “Their graduation was so special and unique I don’t think anyone who was there will ever forget it and the unprecedented circumstances that brought us here. These brave students embody Parker School’s values of excellence, integrity and compassion and have the skills they need to embark on their next adventures.”

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