On June 4, 476 seniors graduated from Hopkins High School in a format that was different from any other class that had come before them. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, traditional graduation was canceled and an alternative plan that included a drive-through graduation, mini car parades and a virtual pre-recorded ceremony was crafted.
Hopkins seniors graduated not only during a global pandemic, but also at a time of tremendous despair and pain brought on by the murder of George Floyd. Superintendent Dr. Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed held a moment of silence at the beginning of the pre-recorded ceremony to honor Mr. Floyd and to acknowledge this deeply troubling time in our community, state, and nation.
On the day of graduation, seniors drove to the high school and received their diplomas from Dr. Mhiripiri-Reed and Principal Doug Bullinger. They continued through the parking lot, driving past the presentation of flags, with each flag representing the graduates’ countries of birth, and were greeted by the Hopkins School Board and teachers. The students then drove to their elementary schools, where teachers were waiting curbside to cheer on their former students. At 7 p.m. a pre-recorded graduation ceremony aired on AM 950 and YouTube Premier.
Students Fa'ShayIngram and Joseph Ramlet led the ceremony and students Alyssa Starr and Mollie Tankenoff gave speeches. Of the Hopkins 2020 graduating class, 169 students will graduate with honors. Thirteen students graduated Summa Cum Laude (cumulative GPA of 4.0), 85 Magna Cum Laude (cumulative GPA of 3.75-3.99), and 71 Cum Laude (cumulative GPA of 3.5-3.74). Senior Evan Komschlies was a National Merit Finalist and seniors Max Beutner, Clara Copps, and Holly Den Hartog were National Merit Commended students.
There are many more unique stories within this class that symbolize its success. The Hopkins Class of 2020 also includs the top female basketball player in the nation, Paige Bueckers. Several students are heading to prestigious colleges and university in the fall including MIT, Standford, and UConn. This year, senior students advocated their believes at the legislative level, started non-profit organizations, and navigated complicated issues around racial identity. The future needs these young leaders and the skill they embody more than ever.
We are proud of all of 2020 Hopkins Seniors, and we know this unique class of global scholars will go on to solve some of the world's most complex problems and make it better.
The following countries were represented by the presentation of the flags:
Bulgaria, China, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Mexico, Montenegro, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Poland, Somalia, South Korea, Spain, Sudan, Taiwan, Thailand, Tibet, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Venezuela, and Vietnam.