NEWELL — The Newell High School graduation took place in a different setting on Saturday afternoon. Only students and parents were allowed to have a somewhat normal graduation ceremony.

Parents and students congregated in the Newell High School gym, as per usual, but no other family members, friends, or peers, were allowed to be a part of the ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The graduation was viewable online.

Seventeen students, most of which who spent their entire academic careers side-by-side, sat six feet apart and listened as Newell School District Superintendent, Robin Dutt gave them some life advice.

“Welcome Class of 2020 and parents,” said Dutt. “Standards are defined in the dictionary as ideas or things used to measure norm or model in comparative evaluations. I truly believe the higher you set your standards, the more successful you will be … I ask all of you, parents, students, teachers — keep your standards high.”

The valedictorian was Jessica Heil, and the salutatorian was Austin Alexander.

Students then stood as their names were called to receive their diplomas, and grabbed the respective parcel with their name on it, and sat back in their assigned seats.

The Class of 2020’s class song was “Small Town” by John Mellencamp. The class flower was the orchid, and colors gold and silver.

“Together we have experienced life, separately we will pursue our dreams forever. Our memories will remain,” is the class motto.

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