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COVID-19: Three Northern Westchester High Schools To Hold Graduation Ceremonies At JV Mall

There will be three Northern Westchester high schools celebrating the 2020 commencement at the Jefferson Valley Mall.
There will be three Northern Westchester high schools celebrating the 2020 commencement at the Jefferson Valley Mall. Photo Credit: John Jay High School

Three Northern Westchester high schools will be hosting “drive-in” commencement ceremonies for their seniors at the Jefferson Valley Mall in Yorktown.

The Bedford, Katonah-Lewisboro and Somers school districts all announced that they will be hosting commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2020 in the mall’s spacious parking lot on Tuesday, June 23.

The ceremony will include live speeches from students and staff, which will be broadcast on a state-of-the-art LED screen similar to that of a drive-in movie, while audio is piped into car radios. There will also be pre-recorded messages and videos that will be displayed for parents, students, and staff.

“It will certainly be a different experience than what we’re accustomed to, but we think it will also be meaningful and memorable one,” John Jay High School Principal Steven Siciliano said when announcing the plan.

Locking into agreements with a venue, a media company, and two other school districts is the result of a quest Siciliano jokingly calls Operation Lemonade.

Siciliano said that he and a team of student leaders, counselors, parents, PTO, senior class advisors, operations personnel and administration “worked tirelessly to find a way to provide seniors with a graduation ceremony where they could be together.”

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