Menomonee Falls high schoolers pick up cap, gowns via drive thru amid pandemic concerns

Posted at 12:51 PM, Apr 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-17 13:51:24-04

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis — Seniors at Menomonee Falls High Schools had a chance to pick up their cap and gowns Friday, after staff organized a drive-thru celebration amid Wisconsin's "Safer at Home" order.

"I didn't really think my senior year was going to end like this," said Cassie Stegner, a member of the class of 2020, as she drove up to pick up her graduation gear.

Her classmate, Jack Roche, agreed.

"It really hurts. My senior year, all my fun classes," said Roche.

The drive-thru celebration, which was held from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m., was the idea of the school's senior class adviser, Lisa Kiefer, who is a teacher.

Students were able to drive up, stay in the vehicles and school administrators and teachers wore masks and gloves while handing out the materials.

"We wanted to try to do something to them and bring a little smile to their face," said Kiefer.

With coronavirus spreading, it's still unclear if the seniors will be able to have an official graduation ceremony.

"We're still holding out hope that sometime in June we will be able to hold the ceremony for them," said Kiefer.

The drive-thru celebration was enhanced by a banner signed by all of the staff at Menomonee Falls High School. Cut-out photos of the teachers were also lined up outside of the school and students received a sign to help them display their accomplishments.

"It's very sad for these kids. They’re missing out on the parties and the celebrations," said Pam Stephens who was picking up a cap and gown with her daughter Jordan.

"I’m graduating! I’m going to college! That’s all that matters," said Jordan, who is experiencing her final days as a high school student virtually.

Students are still taking classes online, and many of their senior events, such as prom, have also been canceled.

District leaders are actively trying to work out plans to save some of the senior celebrations for the class of 2020. They hope to hold a graduation ceremony once it's safe to do so but, no plans have been made and it's still unclear if and how that celebration might be possible.

Report a typo or error // Submit a news tip

Coronavirus in Wisconsin

More data on Wisconsin's vaccination progress here.

Find a vaccination site here.

Check out county-by-county coronavirus case numbers here.

More information: COVID-19 on the Wisconsin DHS website

Latest news and headlines here.