Celebrations set for GHS Class of 2020

GHS 2020 Valedictorian Noor Akhter sports a mighty happy smile on his lawn sign. (EDITH TUCKER PHOTO)

GORHAM — This year’s 28 Class of 2020 graduates of Gorham High School may not take any hesitation steps this year but there will plenty of both celebrations and innovations.

A virtual Class Day at 2 p.m. on Friday, June 5, will include both awards and scholarships, all presented through a personalized YouTube Premiere Livestream event with Live Chat, explained GHS principal Jennifer Corrigan.

This will be carefully followed later by an in-person graduation, designed to stay within the state’s guidelines for COVID-19 gatherings and social distancing.

“Our plan is to have both a parade and presentation to mark the Class of 2020’s graduation,” Corrigan said.

Students will be escorted by the Gorham Fire and Police Departments throughout town in a parade that ends at the Mount Washington Auto Road on Route 16 in Green’s Grant, south of town.

“We’ll hold a responsible event at the base of Mount Washington,” she said. “Keeping with tradition, both Valedictorian Noor Ahkter and Salutatorian Anna Roberge will give their speeches live.”

Guest speaker Craig Langlois, however, will give his speech virtually.

“Students will receive their diplomas, transfer their tassels and then depart for the annual Chem-Free Party for graduates,” Corrigan said.

Celebratory signs and banners will likely become new traditions.

The GHS planning team worked with Corrigan Screen Printing to create handsome lawn signs for each graduate, as well as for Eli Smith who died of cancer in his sophomore year on Feb. 28, 2018.

“As evidenced by the many responses to our Facebook post, the students, families, and community really enjoyed the surprise,” Corrigan happily pointed out.

Several lawn signs stand in front of Gorham High School, but most are placed — as planned — at or near where a graduate lives. Twenty-three live in Gorham, three in Shelburne, and one each in Randolph and Milan.

Banners displaying a senior photograph on each and designed to recognize their collective achievement will be placed on poles on Main Street in Gorham.

Other significant dates include Friday, May 29, the seniors’ last day of remote learning.

Two days later, this will be followed by a virtual Baccalaureate ceremony livestreamed at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 31. Students have been asked to record themselves reading a poem that can be incorporated into the event.

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