Drive-in to host Hinsdale graduation

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HINSDALE, N.H. — It won't be your typical graduation ceremony for the Hinsdale High School Class of 2020, but it promises to be quite memorable.

The festivities start at 7 p.m. with a graduation parade winding its way through the town before making its way to the Northfield Drive-In for the graduation ceremony.

"The kids did not want to forego walking across the stage and getting their diplomas," said Principal Ann Freitag.

The first two rows of the drive-in will be reserved for the students who will walk across a stage in front of the big screen to collect their diplomas. Freitag said all COVID-19 precautionary measures will be taken, including social distancing, no touching and the wearing of masks.

"This has been an interesting turn of events for us," said Freitag. "Even just practicing in the parking lot requires safety."

Pre-recorded speeches will be shown on the big screen. Speeches will come from Maggie St. John, valedictorian, Juliana Yialiades, salutatorian and Katie Ricker, honor essayist.

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And much to her surprise, Freitag was asked by the seniors to give the keynote speech.

"I asked them if they were sick of listening to me," said Freitag, who said she will share a story of when somebody tried to take a radio out of her pocket while she was in the lunchroom.

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"The lesson is never do anything to make your principal scream," said Freitag.

Tickets will be required for the graduation ceremony at the drive-in, she said. Students will get three tickets each, one per car, to distribute to family and friends. Because cars will be separated by a space, tickets are limited, said Freitag.

Freitag said she hopes to livestream the event as well, but they're still working out the details.

"At first, the kids were downcast about graduation, but now they are getting excited," said Freitag.

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Max Beebe, of O'Mega Images, has been recording the speeches. He said the video will feature some extras that he doesn't want to share so as not to spoil the surprise.

"I can guarantee you it will knock the mask right off your face," he said.

Freitage said the seniors are also planning a reunion for this time next year to make up for missing out on the class trip and all the other fun stuff seniors would get in a normal year.

To inquire about tickets, contact Ericka Kilelee at

Bob Audette can be contacted at


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