Class of 2020 celebrates graduation

  • Jason Blasco/ The Garden Island

    Kapa’a 2020 graduate Makana Brustowicz awaits his moment to walk the stage by his parent’s car Friday afternoon outside the Ron Martin Field on the Kapa‘a High campus.

  • Jason Blasco/ The Garden Island

    Kapa’a High School faculty (from left) Liz Steiner, Crystal Rowe, Martin Antonio, and Richard Sypniewski pose for a picture during Kapa’a High School’s 2020 commencement ceremony Friday afternoon at Kapa’a High School. They were part of a crew that spent hours preparing gift baskets for the students during the 2020 Kapa‘a High School commencement Friday afternoon at Kapa‘a High.

  • Jason Blasco/ The Garden Island

    Kapa‘a 2020 graduate Talia Washington decorated her car during Friday afternoon’s graduation commencement ceremony at Kapa’a High School. Washington was one of 34 of the Warriors’ valedictorian students.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    The 3 Crazy hot rod carries Kaua‘i Complex Area Superintendent William Arakaki, driven by Jeannie Warren, Friday to lead the Kaua‘i High School alternative graduation convoy through Nawiliwili.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    A Kaua‘i High School graduate is jubilant, Friday during the alternative graduation convoy that ended at the school.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Kaua‘i High School graduates Bethannie Alfanso and Deannalyn Alfanso greet convoy spectators, Friday during the alternative graduation convoy that prefaced the live stream commencement.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Waimea High School graduate Chelsey Chikahira celebrates with her family in the safety of their car, Friday during the allternative graduation held at the Kaua‘i Raceway Park in Mana.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Waimea High School graduates celebrate the water bridge created by a Kaua‘i Fire Department fire truck, Friday during the convoy spanning the Kaua‘i Raceway Park to the site of the sugar mill in Waimea where they were greeted by the after party coordinated by the Waimea High School Project Grad.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Kaua‘i High School graduate Kamu Peahu leans out in celebration, Friday during the alternative graduation convoy through Nawiliwili.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Waimea High School graduate Makeyah Wisneski celebrates with an air horn, Friday during the alternative graduation at the Kaua‘i Raceway Park.

LIHU‘E — The Class of 2020 celebrated commencement convoy-style on Friday with more than 600 seniors turning the tassel in graduation ceremonies that looked much different than the normal pomp and circumstance in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Without the ability to gather in large groups as is usual during graduation ceremonies, schools elected to convoy graduates and honor them with drive-thru ceremonies.

Waimea High School kicked off the island’s celebrations with a 10 a.m. start to their ceremony — one that involved 147 grads in their caps and gowns grabbing drive-thru diplomas at a little stage in Mana and then convoying through a water cannon send-off, courtesy of Kauai Fire Department, before hitting up a smattering of food trucks that were offering free meals to grads in celebration of their achievements.

In Lihu‘e, Kaua‘i High School sponsored a convoy for the 274 students in their Class of 2020, which began at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School and ended at Kauai High School’s campus. Traffic was monitored and controlled by Kaua‘i Police Department while seniors drove in style to celebrate. Then they headed home to watch a virtual commencement ceremony hosted by Kaua‘i High School alumni Ashley Nagaoka, a reporter from Hawaii News Now.

Each graduate will receive a DVD and hard copy program during diploma pickup at Kaua‘i High School from Tuesday, May 26 through Thursday May 28, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Kapa‘a High School graduated 250 seniors in a drive-through diploma ceremony at the Ron Martin Baseball Field. They had no convoy because the students decided they didn’t want one. The Warriors’ class consisted of 34 valedictorians. Kian Viernes finished with the highest GPA out of the group with a 4.235-grade point average. He plans on studying engineering at University of Hawai‘i at M‘anoa. The students were presented their diplomas by Kapa‘a High School Principal Tommy Cox, then given their gift baskets, and walked backed to the car, where they were to remain because of the school’s mandatory social distancing protocols.

Look for more graduation coverage in the Sunday edition of The Garden Island.

2 Comments
  1. randy kansas May 23, 2020 2:05 am Reply

    Congrats, and now most of them will leave for the mainland, cause Hawaii does not have much to offer workwise….


  2. DennisandSharon Fowler May 23, 2020 11:16 am Reply

    Congratulations to all the graduates……..great job………..


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