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Plumas Charter School instructional aide Steve Rahmeyer takes the podium during Ethan Fiolka’s graduation ceremony June 5. Joining him in the home visit celebration are PCS Executive Director Taletha Washburn (left) and Quincy Learning Center Site Coordinator Brittini Wade (right). Photo by Maggie Hennessy

Plumas Charter School offers creative graduation ceremonies

By Ingrid Burke

Special to Plumas News

[email protected]

As a personalized learning school, Plumas Charter is no stranger to creativity and individualized education — PCS staff and teachers made full use of these skills last week as they honored 31 graduates in the Class of 2020.

Social distancing requirements precluded hosting a large traditional graduation ceremony, but PCS found ways to show pride and support for each graduating senior as he or she marked the completion of high school.

Graduates received customized senior sweatshirts, and music teacher Greg Willis created a video sharing each graduate’s photos and plans for the future. Unique individualized graduation celebrations were also held in students’ home communities for each of PCS’s three high school learning centers.

Some graduates had been with PCS for many years, while others had enrolled only toward the end of their time in high school. Hard work and perseverance were highlighted throughout.

Future plans are as unique as the young men and women of the Class of 2020: some graduates plan to attend college (some have already accrued many college credits through concurrent enrollment), while some plan to enter or continue in the workforce. Many young people will stay in the Plumas County area, while some plan to move elsewhere. And areas of study vary from nursing to agriculture to firefighting to cosmetology to outdoor recreation leadership.

“I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to our resilient and determined seniors,” said PCS’s executive director, Taletha Washburn. “We appreciate and value the effort and commitment each of you has shown. Please know that the staff of PCS is here to support you in any way we can as you take your next steps. Congratulations to the Class of 2020. We’re very proud of you.”

Indian Valley Academy

PCS’s Indian Valley Academy, in Taylorsville, graduated 14 seniors. On the evening of June 5, graduates and their families participated in a “graduation caravan” on Main Street. PCS staff and teachers assembled in front of the IVA building while families and community members lined the street, everyone maintaining social distancing.

As each graduate’s vehicle arrived at IVA to unique musical accompaniment, the graduate disembarked and listened to personalized remarks from IVA Site Director Ryan Schramel. After receiving special gifts and a personalized banner, graduates and their families had portraits taken.

Quincy Learning Center

PCS’s Quincy Learning Center graduated 11; in the Quincy area, staff took the graduation ceremony to the students in a home visit caravan. A podium complete with decorations was mounted on a trailer, and its arrival at each graduate’s house during the afternoon of June 5 was announced by teacher Casey Peters playing “Pomp and Circumstance” on the trumpet.

Washburn delivered graduation remarks, and Brittini Wade, teacher and QLC site coordinator, offered a personalized address. After gifts and photos, the trailer and caravan were loaded up for travel to the next house.

Chester Learning Center

PCS’s Chester Learning Center graduated six seniors this year, and teachers made home visits June 5 there as well, complete with photos, gifts, and yard signs.

To view graduation photo galleries and the PCS graduation video, visit http://www.plumascharterschool.org/news/2019_2020_news/p_c_s_graduates_class_of_2020. The website also includes more information about PCS, which is a public school serving students in transitional kindergarten through 12th grade throughout Plumas and adjacent counties.

Ingrid Burke is the public relations specialist for Plumas Charter School.


In a very “Plumas County moment,” a log truck passes by during Plumas Charter School senior Jaden Cash’s personalized graduation ceremony June 5. Joining him on “stage” are Quincy Learning Center Site Coordinator Brittini Wade (center) and PCS Executive Director Taletha Washburn. Photo by Maggie Hennessy



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