‘One of the greatest moments:’ Poynette seniors honored in parade

POYNETTE, Wis.– In-person graduations around the state have been canceled or postponed, but communities aren’t letting the achievement go unrecognized.

Parents of Poynette High School graduates organized a parade for their seniors.

Although it’s not the traditional pomp and circumstance, the class of 2020 said it was still a hats off celebration.

“It’s surreal. It’s an experience that we thought would never happen,” Parker Walstad, a graduate, said.

Seniors shared that the idea of having a graduation didn’t seem possible.

“Honestly, at the beginning of this, I didn’t think we were going to be able to have an experience like this,” Jaelyne White, a graduate, said.

Instead of walking across a stage, the graduates rode down Main Street in cars and on floats.

“This means more than a regular graduation, because all of this stuff we’ve done, it’s stuff that nobody else has gotten from Poynette,” Daniel Weisensel, a graduate, said.

As senior class president, Weisensel said he is proud of his classmates for dealing with an unexpected change this year.

“The fact that we were able to make it through that makes me have faith that everyone here is going to succeed in life,” Weisensel said.

While finishing classes online took the seniors by surprise, they said it’s the memories they made along the way that will be remembered.

“My freshman year playing football,” senior Bill Dufresne said. “They gave the big guy the football and I scored. I had my whole team giving me pats on the back. It was great. I’ll never forget that.”

Seniors also said the graduation parade will never be forgotten.

“I honestly think this is one of the greatest moments,” senior Brayden O’Connor said. “I almost shed a couple tears seeing all the balloons everywhere. It’s crazy.”

Despite an uncertain future, these graduates remain excited for what’s beyond high school.

“It’s kind of a new experience, but it means new education, new hard work, and new ways to achieve it,” Amanda Vedvik, a graduate, said.

The seniors said their school promised to throw them a traditional graduation when it’s safer.