New Hope Academy was incredibly honored to host not just one but six 20th Commencement Ceremonies on June 26, 2020. It was a ceremony that was unparalleled and unprecedented, but it was one of the proudest days in the history of the school. After experiencing a pandemic that brought isolation, anxiety, and a virtual fourth quarter, the Class of 2020 finally received their high school diplomas.
Creativity and flexibility were essential when planning for this unusual day but NHA was up for the task. In an effort to adhere to health guidelines, graduates were separated into six groups and each group was assigned to a different time throughout the day. They were permitted to bring three family members and received a special hand-made mask that read “NHA Class of 2020.”
Upon their arrival to the Yardley campus, students and their families were greeted by an enthusiastic group of teachers serving as the “NHA Honor Guard,” who cheered their arrivals and applauded their efforts. Seniors then had their official portraits taken and had the opportunity to walk through the school and admire their artwork that was on display. A red carpet greeted them and guided them to their seats in front of the podium and a special “Gift Tree,” which was decorated with pictures of the graduating seniors, all while the NHA music department played the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance.” NHA Head of School Kathy Gana and senior administrators welcomed the graduates and their families and the ceremony began with a reading of “New Hope School of Dreams,” NHA’s official “alma mater poem.” After the distribution of trophies for Highest Achievement, awards for Most Improved, and personalized speeches from various staff members, the valedictorians and salutatorians delivered their speeches. After the pinnacle moment of the presentation of the diplomas, the Class of 2020 proceeded out of the room to “Gonna Fly Now” (Theme from Rocky), gathered up special gift bags, and exited the building, where they were met by thunderous applause, smiling faces, and bright futures.