Historic Class of 2020 Commencement


Designed by Jack Kleeberger

Commencement will happen on June 7 at 2 p.m.

Jack Kleeberger, Writer

Despite the uncertainty of online learning and COVID-19 itself, the Owatonna High School plans to push forward in honoring the senior Class of 2020. The day’s extensive plans surpass anyone’s expectations of what would have seemed possible a month ago. However, despite the current circumstances, the special commencement promised to seniors is here. 

Picture perfect

To begin the day, June 7, 2020, all graduates and families are encouraged to meet at the foundation building on the east side of the fairgrounds, where a professional photo will be taken of the student in cap and gown. Due to this year’s unique circumstances, seniors are allowed to decorate their individual caps however they choose, with the intention of further honoring the class. During this time a free breakfast will be offered to students and families. 

Students whose last name begins with A-H will meet at the foundation building from 9:00-10:00 a.m. for their pictures. Last names I-P will meet from 10:00-11:00 a.m. and students with last names Q-Z will meet from 11:00-12:00 p.m. There will be four local photographers.

Drive-in ceremony 

After students pose for their professional photos, the commencement will be held at 2:00 p.m. located at the Federated Annexstad building. This will be a drive-thru commencement where seniors will receive their diplomas, social distancing rules will be in place and safety precautions will be taken at this time. There will be one car and parking lot allowed per family, members in that family must stay in the car at all times. Only the driver side window is allowed to be rolled down to receive the diploma. 

Students and families will report to the west parking lot of the Annexstad building on 1929 South Cedar Avenue, Owatonna MN. The entire ceremony will be broadcasted through our radio on AM 1390 KRFO and FM 100.9 KOWZ. 

Spotlighting the class

Later that night, at 9:30 p.m., the OHS score board, stadium and front of the building will be lit up with special lights to honor seniors. The OHS administration is also asking members of the community to turn their house lights on in recognition of this year’s class.

The Pandemic of 2020 will be remembered for years to come and the stories of those who lived through it will carry on for generations. 

Below is a list of Owatonna businesses that are offering coupons and deals to graduating students. 

  • S’Cream: Free short cone for all 2020 graduates that bring their tassel on June 7. 
  • Taco Johns: Free combo meal coupon for the month of June
  • The Blast: Free ice cream coupon to be used during the month of June 
  • Old Town Bagel: $5  coupon for all 2020 graduates. 
  • McDonald’s: Free food coupons 

More deals may still be pending.