North Conway, NH – Kennett High School’s class of 2020 will graduate from the summit of Cranmore Mountain via chairlift, on June 13. A creative alternative to the traditional ceremony which cannot be held due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Starting at 8am, students and their immediate family will begin to load the Skimobile Express Quad chairlift to the summit of the mountain. After unloading the chairlift, their name will be announced by Kennett High School Principal, Kevin Carpenter, before being presented their diploma by Conway School Board Chairman, Joe Lentini. The diploma will be placed on a table. After being acknowledged by Superintendent, Kevin Richard, the student and their family will walk over to Cranmore’s Summit Meister Hut for a photo, before proceeding back to the chairlift to return to the base of the mountain.
“We were brainstorming socially distant ways to celebrate graduation outside of a virtual or drive by ceremony. A parent shared their idea of holding the ceremony at the summit of Cranmore and to us it made perfect sense.” said Kennett Principal, Kevin Carpenter. “It didn’t seem like the alternative options would be enough for these students, who are already missing out on so much. We presented the idea to Cranmore and they loved it. It’s not your traditional graduation, but it will be a special one for sure,” he continued.
With groups spaced out to allow for social distancing, the ceremony will take anywhere between 6 and 7 hours to get through the class of 174 graduates. Students will be able to invite up to 4 guests to attend the ceremony with them. Besides those in attendance, this event will be closed to the public.
“We are very excited to be able to work with our local high school who came up with this creative way for students to graduate,” said Cranmore President & General Manager, Ben Wilcox. “A lot of us at the mountain, including myself, are graduates of Kennett, so there is definitely an emotional connection with us hosting this event. How cool is it to live in a ski town and be able to graduate at the top of a mountain, by chairlift?” Wilcox continued.
All of the appropriate safety protocols will be in place to adhere to all state mandated guidelines, including designated holding areas for families waiting to load the chairlift, face coverings while loading and unloading the chairlift, and regular sanitization of the chairlift.
Cranmore is currently closed and is planning a late June opening for their summer operations. For more information on summer offerings, prices, operating hours and to purchase tickets, visit www.cranmore.com or call 1-800-SUN-N-SKI.