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The Indian Valley Academy Class of 2020 gathers at Taylorsville Campground on the evening of June 5 to hear director Ryan Schramel give his final address to the students. They would caravan to the school for a drive-thru ceremony. Photo by Meg Upton

IVA graduates the Class of 2020

By Meg Upton

[email protected]

You could tell by the faces of those gathered in their cars and trucks up and down Main Street in Taylorsville, that the June 5 drive-thru Indian Valley Academy graduation ceremony was a hit.

After weeks of trying to come up with an idea that met the stringent protocols for COVID19 distancing and celebrating the Class of 2020 at the same time, Indian Valley Academy celebrated its nine graduates with a small, but mighty hour of acknowledgement.

Students gathered 6 feet apart in a circle at the Taylorsville Campground to hear final words from director Ryan Schramel. He spoke of the values the school tried to instill in the students and how he hoped they would build on those with values of their own to make the world a better place.

Students, with their friends and families, paraded down Main Street in their vehicles one at a time stopping in front of the school for 10 minutes each while Schramel spoke of the strengths and character of the student, their future plans, and their time at the school. Each student, when it was their turn, exited their vehicle to personally selected music to hear Schramel’s speech, gather the diploma, and pose with family members for a photo in front of the school’s decorative backdrop.

Teachers looked on, six feet apart from the porch or the street below, along with Plumas Charter School staff and executive director Taletha Washburn, who gave out diplomas, money leis (donated by the Cook family), and gift bags.

Young’s Market donated gift cards; Evergreen Market donated gift bags; Shaylyn Goss made the graduates cakes; and Pam Lyman donated roses for the seniors to give out to family and friends. IVA staff brought flowers from their porches to decorate the site. Banners of the nine graduates were made by Wild Hare.

Indian Valley Academy’s class of 2020 are Jess Tyler, Emmalyn Hardy, Diego Garcia-Couoh, Jazmin Banks, Morgan Peters, Avery MacIntyre, Brian Smalley, and Myah Rogers.

People commented on how family-centered the event was as graduates and their families were part of the drive-thru ceremony. As each graduate’s car or truck moved beyond the diploma stand, they circled back around to cheer on their classmates in cars parked across the street. A graduation ceremony with a true hometown feel.

Indian Valley Academy produced a small town drive-thru graduation ceremony acknowledging Class of 2020 graduates Jess Tyler, Emmalyn Hardy, Diego Garcia-Couoh, Jazmin Banks, Morgan Peters, Avery MacIntyre, Brian Smalley, and Myah Rogers. Photo by Meg Upton

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