New online format continues to honor Monett graduates

Saturday, May 16, 2020
Monett High School Principal Stephanie Heman gave opening remarks at Monday’s Senior Honors Assembly, the first to ever have been live streamed from the district. On an evening when the Performing Arts Center should have been packed, the vacant auditorium was a stark reminder on how the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has changed the rules for social gatherings. Melonie Roberts/

High school seniors watch milestone event from afar

For high school seniors across the nation, 2020 has not been a typical year.

While school officials hope to resume classes as normal in the fall, those who are graduating this year are challenged by how to commemorate their milestone events in a non-typical fashion due to social restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Officials at Monett High School chose to observe one of those year-end traditions, the Senior Honors Assembly, by live streaming the event from a largely vacant events center. Students, their family members and friends were able to watch the assembly from afar, via computers, cell phones and other electronic devices. However, the air of celebration, the applause of student supporters and the public recognition for their years of academic achievements was missing, serving as another reminder of how life has been altered for these graduating students.

Gary Cook, the student-selected teacher, momentarily joked about the extended wellness break.

“You have managed to pull off the longest and most successful senior skip day in Monett’s history,” he said, before challenging students to accept, adapt and move forward despite the obstacles placed before them. “You have the support of your family, friends and community.”

Student honors included academic awards, the A+ completions, academic letters, B or Better honor rolls, Presidential Education Awards, the George Washington Carver award, and 36 separate local scholarship providers.

Monett High School graduation ceremonies are set for 7 p.m. on Friday, June 12, at Burl Fowler Stadium. In the event of inclement weather, the event will take place Friday, July 10.

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