BARTON - It was a big rig graduation for the Class of 2020 at Lake Region Union High School Sunday afternoon.
A huge parade led by firetrucks, ambulances and sheriff department cruisers - and a tractor trailer - rolled through Barton and Orleans villages, horns blaring, before arriving at the school shortly after 2 p.m.
Each graduate in their family caravan drove around the circular driveway in front of the school and got out to walk up on a stage festooned with balloons and school colors.
Principal Andre Messier announced each student, handed each graduate their diploma and talked about their honors, awards, scholarships and their plans after graduation.
The students also received a white rose, in LRUHS style. Messier described who the graduate would present it to, mom or dad, family member or friend, in recognition of all their support during their high school years.
Parents cried, and members of the caravan cheered and took photographs without getting out of their vehicles. Teachers seated around the circle - in mask and social distancing - cheered and waved.
Graduate Ebony Cota and her entourage stole the show early. She and her family rode in on the flatbed behind the Gray truck. The big rig pulled to one side in the parking lot and Cota jumped down, got her diploma and ran back, but not before she a quick stolen hug from another graduate.
It was quite a show.
Graduate Jasmine Valley waved through the sunroof of her family’s car as her sister Jena waved from the passenger window as they waited her turn.
She loved everything about the day.
Was the parade fun?
“Yes, oh yes!” she shouted.
Valley plans to look for a job while figuring out what she wants to do next.
Not everyone was enamored of the process. Graduate Richard Davignon, riding shotgun in a red Hummer among the first in line, said it was a long day.
A traffic jam had developed just after noon as vehicles waited to get into the Orleans County Fairgrounds to line up for the parade at 1:30. It was a bit late stepping off, but those at the high school could hear the parade horns and sirens as it went past on Route 5 toward Orleans Village.
The parade looped around and came at the school from the back way from Irasburg to avoid causing more traffic jams.
Glenn Hankinson, a family member of Cota on the flatbed, said it was great fun and wondered if students would ever want to go back to the old-style of graduation.
The list of awards and scholarships, the speeches and a video of the ceremony Sunday are posted on the school’s website at https://www.lruhs.org/
Lake Region Class of 2020
Wayne Alexander, Noah Archer, Lilah Ovitt, Alex Bent, Abigail Blanchard, Adler Bunten, Riley Burdick, Charlotte Carey, Glen Cartee, William Coburn, Gage Coe, Elias Cooper, Ebony Cota, Madison Dagesse, Richard Davignon, David Davis-Moulton, Joel Devereux, Annabelle Doucet, Emma J. Downs, Mara Duquette,
Huntre Farnham, Shelby Fortin, Suzanna Frazier, Benjamin Gilcris, Alexander Gonyaw, Denise Goodridge, Aidan Grassley, Emilee Guyette, Keith Herman, Andrew Hicks, Noah Hill, Joslyn Hinton, Ayla-Kaid Horner, Lily Hoyt, Jordyn Ingalls, Dakota Jones, Joshua Kelley, Faith Kempton, Jackson King,
Selah Laber, Devin Landry, Connor Lanou, Bailey Lantagne, Hannah Lantagne, Braydon Leach, Jace Lemrise, Austin Letourneau, Lily Lockamy, Emma Locke, Deavonte Mason, Miles Mason, Melanie Menard, Siara Montminy, Grace Morgado, Glenn Nutting,
Brooke Perkins, Hunter Perkins, Parker Perron, Addie Petit, Destiny Pinto-DaSilva, Emma May Poginy, Hunter Poirier, Allison Powell, Benjamin Powers, Christian Prue, Jorden Prue, Kacee Prue, Anna Quinn,
Natalie Racine, Cierra Richardson, Knight Rivers, Samuel Robb, Cole Royer, Anthony Schneider, Taylor Schneider, Dylan Simoneau, Reid Snyder, Ella Stevens, Jasmine Valley, Kaitlyn Verge, Hilary Wailonis, Trinity Wheeler, Samantha Whipple and Jacob Young.