New Hampshire Motor Speedway to Host Special High School Graduation June 13
Reflecting the indominable spirit of the class of 2020, the graduating class at Merrimack Valley High School (MVHS) will literally and figuratively cross the finish line of their high school careers at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) in a special graduation event, which celebrates this milestone in a safe and unique way. With the cancellation of typical graduation ceremonies due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NHMS and MVHS are teaming up to send the seniors off in a memorable way: by driving on "The Magic Mile" and crossing the start/finish line - the famed Granite Stripe - on June 13.
"The class of 2020 has certainly endured a year of challenge," said David McGrath, executive vice president and general manager of New Hampshire Motor Speedway. "These young people have worked so hard, shown great determination, and we're so proud of their efforts. We're honored to welcome them to 'The Magic Mile' to celebrate their hard work with a unique experience to mark their graduation from high school."
The Merrimack Valley High School class of 2020 consists of 185 students coming from the speedway's hometown of Loudon, along with Penacook, Boscawen, Salisbury, Webster and Andover. The graduation ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. with speeches from MVHS principal David Miller and seniors Logan Cassin and Laura Earle and a commencement address by retiring English teacher, Ray Bailey. Graduating seniors will cross the start/finish line once their name and any honors recognitions are announced.
"Through the speedway's commitment to its communities, it has not only provided us the opportunity to safely, appropriately and respectfully pay homage to the members of the class of 2020, it will also make this a memorable experience for these deserving students," said Miller.
Students will parade from their high school to the speedway where they will line up for their graduation ceremony. Each graduate and his or her immediate family will be invited to enter the infield, drive onto the speedway through turns three and four where they will park while speeches and commencement addresses are made through the public address system. Following the speeches, cars will be directed through a processional from turn four, down the frontstretch, across the start/finish line to turn one where they will then exit the speedway.
"The Merrimack Valley School District is very grateful for our partnership with New Hampshire Motor Speedway," said Mark MacLean, superintendent of Merrimack Valley School District. "We are hopeful that the commencement ceremony and celebration for the class of 2020 will be special, memorable and will show our deep appreciation and respect to the students and families who have made it to the finish line. Congratulations to the MVHS class of 2020! You are an inspiration to us all!"
To comply with recommended social distancing practices, families and guests will be limited to one car per graduate and required to remain in the vehicle along with the student throughout the duration of the ceremony. Only vehicles with a graduating senior will be allowed in the infield, and spectators will not be allowed in the grandstands per guidelines from the State of New Hampshire and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to limit large gatherings.
Parents and students are advised to visit https://MVHSPride.org for further graduation details.