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Graduation With A View: Local Schools Hold Unconventional Ceremony At Mountain High Resort

WRIGHTWOOD (CBSLA) – With many high schools and colleges throughout Southern California holding their graduation ceremonies online this year, the Snowline Joint Unified School District in Bernardino County decided to hold theirs – on a mountain.

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On Wednesday, 527 graduating seniors from Serrano High School, Chaparral, Snowline Academy, and Eagle Summit Community Day School were invited to attend a graduation ceremony at Mountain High Resort, where they rode a chair lift to receive their diplomas.

Robert Chacon, Assistant Superintendent of Business for Snowline Joint Unified School District, said the idea came to him from a school on the East Coast.

"The response has been awesome," Chacon said. "Most families wanted an in-person experience, not just a virtual ceremony or a drive-up event. Given the state of things, this is a great way to celebrate their achievements while still practicing social distancing."

Safety measures were in place, including a distance of five chairs between each student, a limited amount of guests per graduate, and required face mask in the lift lines.

After the 4-minute chair lift ride to the top, graduates and their guests were greeted by the principle, given their diploma and posed for a photo.

Karl Kapuscinski, President and CEO of Mountain High, "This is an amazing event and we are so glad we were able to make it happen."

The District is also producing a 'virtual graduation' with photos and video clips, speeches from the Valedictorian, Salutatorian, principle, and Superintendent.

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