BILLINGS, Mont. -- Tt was a strange and abrupt end to the school year for graduating seniors across the district, however some will still find some normalcy as they prepare for graduation this Sunday.
One thing that will not be normal at graduation, the absence of the valedictorian. Olivia DeBoer is the valedictorian at Skyview High School and will be delivering her commencement speech virtually. Olivia was presented with several options but decided on a virtual speech given her circumstances. "I live with a family member who's really high risk, so something me and my family talked about and we were like "I could go but then I would have to isolate for 14 days at home to avoid exposure. So it was just easier to not go."
While noting the serious nature of the pandemic, Olivia says she wants to add some comedy in her speech. Olivia says her speech is themed around Friday the 13th, which in March, was the last day seniors would attend class on campus.
"I wanted to have a little bit of humor in my speech but the events since Friday the 13th have been very serious for a lot of people and you know it's obviously a global issue and everyone's been impacted by it," says DeBoer.
Of those impacted were Olivia and her fellow seniors, who saw the last months of their senior year vanish. As the road ahead remains uncertain, Olivia does not want this global pandemic to take away from bonds created over the last four years. Olivia says "we didn't really get the closure that a lot of classes had, like saying goodbye to friends and stuff who are going off. I just hope that there are high school connections and friendships that remain after high school."
School District 2 will hold graduation ceremonies Sunday at MetraPark. In the spirit of physical distancing, students are only allowed two guests each.
If you cannot make the ceremony, we will be broadcasting graduation on our secondary channel, SWX. The ceremony will also stream on our website and on our Facebook page.
Commencement times are listed below:
Skyview - 9:00am
Billings Senior - 2:00pm
Billings West - 7:00pm