On Saturday morning, May 2, 2020 Chatham Charter held a special Commencement ceremony for the first of its 45 seniors.
“It was encouraging to our staff, members of Class of 2020 and their families when our first senior graduated. Dylan Brown had to report to the Marines on Sunday, May 3, so we held a special Commencement ceremony for him and his immediate family,” said Dr. John Eldridge, Head of School.
The event was shared with Brown’s extended family, classmates and their families, the school staff, and Board of Directors through an invitational live stream. Two alumni along with a guest speaker, all of whom are active duty military, recorded motivational video messages that were included in the ceremony. Cap and gown photographs of the other members of the senior class lined the hallway where Brown prepared for the ceremony.
The original Commencement date for the Chatham Charter Class of 2020 was May 15th. Due to the COVID-19 constraints, administration is in the process of rescheduling it, but decided to hold a ceremony for Brown in the high school lobby. The format and staging were a mini version of the normal one. Brown’s date to report to the Marines had recently been moved from mid-May to May 3rd due to the COVID-19 situation.
“It was important to us that Dylan not miss the milestone of high school graduation because of circumstances beyond his control, particularly because of a noble decision to serve our country through the military. Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” explained Eldridge.
Additionally, on April 15 and 16, a small team from the school delivered yard signs, snacks and graduation regalia to homes of the senior class as encouragement.