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Oasis Academy graduation to stream Thursday night

by Thomas Ranson
The Oasis Academy girls lacrosse team featured five seniors, including, from left, Churchill County High School student Jaidyn Delgado, and Oasis Academy students Elizabeth Williams, Brooklynn Whitaker, Emily Richards and Kate Dunkin. Richards was named one of the top four Oasis Academy seniors.
Thomas Ranson

It’s not the same but after spending the last couple of months coming up with the best alternative for its graduating class, Oasis Academy will stream this year’s graduation ceremony on its Facebook page at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

The virtual graduation will be like previous years with speakers and students decked out in their cap and gown, delivering a 30-second personal message. Oasis Academy teacher Jake Lewis produced the virtual graduation video.

Oasis Academy also named the school’s top four students from this year’s class, which include Emily Richards, Savanah Robinson, Conor Keitz and Elizabeth Williams.

Since the pandemic forced schools to switch to distance learning, cancel extracurricular events and switch graduation from an in-person gathering to a virtual ceremony, Oasis Academy seniors have been affected in different ways.

For Kate Dunkin, she was looking forward to her final lacrosse season before moving across the country to continue her education and playing career at New England College.

“This year, my lacrosse team was looking good to go to state,” said Dunkin, the team’s goalie. “We have been together for six years and this was the seniors’ last chance.”

After barely diving into the season, it was cut short – like the rest of the sports – because of COVID-19. Dunkin, though, will get to play again next season but she said the cancellations have been difficult.

“I think many of the things that have been cancelled in the last few months mark the end of an era,” she said. “Losing these things is hard.”

Keitz, who was also set to play his final lacrosse season before going to Purdue to study mechanical engineering and play on the club team, said that the pandemic has revealed the importance of having a flexible job.

“We are all working from home,” he said of his family. “It revealed to me that it is good to have a job that you can work from home.”

The pandemic has affected Raven Pascale’s family because of her father’s job and mother’s health. But while her family has had to isolate during the last two months, there have been some positives.

“We find things to do as a family such as Nerf wars, dancing games, many board games and skateboarding,” she said.

Although Oasis Academy’s graduation will be virtual, Pascale is hopeful to be able to hang out with her friends before going to UNR in the fall.

“I miss being out with my family and friends, going to skate parks and competitions,” Pascale said.