Penta will hold drive-thru graduation ceremony

By Marie Thomas-Baird -

PERRYSBURG – Penta Career Center will hold two drive-thru senior recognition events to honor its 480 graduates.

The ceremonies will be June 2-3 outside the school.

The plan was explained to members of the school board at their meeting earlier this month.

“We’re going to celebrate our graduating class over nine hours over two days. It’s a big class and we want to take time to recognize each of them individually,” said Ryan Lee, assistant director.

“It’s a lot of kids to try to do something that really stands out,” he said.

Students will arrive on the Perrysburg Township campus at a designated date and time. Students will need to stay in their vehicle as they are directed through campus. At the first stop, they will receive the traditional yard sign and senior recognition booklet before heading to stop two at the main entrance.

There, the student will be allowed to leave the vehicle to receive their Career Passport from Director Jeff Kurtz and get their photo taken.

The passport contains a personalized certificate of completion for whatever program they were in.

Lee said a local photographer will take two photos of the student: a formal shot and one taken with their career-tech teacher.

The second photo will be done virtually, Ryan said. The school will postphotos of staff on a large television screen.

Both photos will be printed in a 5×7 format on site and handed to the student in an envelope, which will contain a QR code so when the family gets home, it will have free access to print the photos on their own.

“It will be a keepsake that they have that we don’t normally do during our senior recognition ceremony,” Lee said.

Many seniors also will be honored with special awards, including the Outstanding Student Award in their career-technical program.

Concerned with the number of students in the class, administrators were not in favor of holding a ceremony inside the building.

“We felt like we’re striking the right balance between efficiency and safety as well as still recognizing our kids and making sure they have something to take away and feel good about,” Lee concluded.

“It sounds like they’ll have an excellent passport ceremony,” said board member Kathy Limes.

Superintendent Ed Ewers said board members will not be taking part in the ceremony. He said a video will be made of all the students receiving their passport. Messages may be recorded and added into the video.

“Everyone wants to do our best to recognize those seniors because they’ve earned the right to be properly recognized,” Ewers said.

He added the plans were approved by the Wood County Health Department.

By Marie Thomas-Baird