Class of 2020 Gets Their Hard-Earned Diplomas

Despite Pandemic, Graduates Walk July 23
Posted on 07/20/2020
Puma Strong

While their senior year did not end the way that the Class of 2020 anticipated, 61 graduates will walk on Thursday, July 23, at 3 p.m., from the doors of their high school and into the place of graduation. Led by Kansas City St. Andrew Pipes and Drum Corps, the parade of grads exits onto Linwood Boulevard, south on Broadway, and into the doors of Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Redemptorist Church), in Kansas City. Students are allowed two guests at the physically-distanced ceremony.

When Spring Break approached, the emergency stay-at-home order went into effect. Students cleaned out lockers, got instructions for distance-learning, and went into a state of not knowing how their high school careers would conclude. Hanging in the balance were rites of passage like prom, the Baccalaureate Dinner served by faculty and staff, and the Honors Convocation.

While some of the pomp had to be suspended, the hope of an in-person graduation took hold. As students waited for the word, Principal Michael Padow dutifully wrote the name of each member of the class on a wall of fame that became a pandemic photo op location. Teachers fanned out across the metro area to plant signs marking the homes of seniors.

“The Class of 2020 has been challenged and tested,” said Padow. “On many levels, I saw this bring out the best in our students and in their teachers. They are resilient, patient and proved that they could go the distance,” he said.

“Every member of the senior class was accepted to college or university,” said President John O’Connor.  “Forever to be known as the Corona Class, our 2020 graduates continued the Cristo Rey Kansas City tradition of 100% college acceptances, which was inaugurated with the school’s first graduates in 2010.”
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