By Nancy Price
A few months ago, schools around the world closed their doors and students were forced to attend classes online. School activities, athletic events, spring break trips and proms were canceled. Many high school seniors and their families were uncertain if there would even be a traditional graduation.
As school administrators began announcing intentions for virtual graduations, petitions began to crop up all over the country, as thousands of seniors and parents, including those from Center Grove, signed and pleaded for a last chance to say “goodbye” to friends and teachers.
On May 12, Center Grove High School Principal Dr. Jeffry Henderson announced that the school would hold an in-person, outdoor, commencement ceremony on July 11 at Ray Skillman Stadium. “We want to provide a way to honor our seniors, while working with the governor’s Back on Track Indiana guidelines to keep everyone safe,” he said.
Center Grove High School recently announced that the class of 2020 valedictorian is Vinay Bhamidipati, who ended the schoolyear with a GPA of 4.846. Bhamidipati plans to attend Purdue University to study computer engineering. The salutatorian is Anna Puderbaugh, who finished with a GPA of 4.81. She plans to attend the University of Kentucky where she will study neuroscience/pre-medical.
A total of 629 graduates will walk the stage to receive their diplomas. One of these graduates, Philip Golder, has accepted an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy. Two others are enrolling in an ROTIC program: Luke Schmitt (Army) and Lindsey Howard (Air Force). Ten students have shared plans to enlist in the military.
“In the most unusual ending to a school year I have ever experienced in my career, I remain optimistic about the future, knowing that this class of fine young adults will be leaders of tomorrow,” Henderson said. “They may have left the halls of CGHS prematurely and without so many of the traditional experiences of a ‘normal’ year, but I am confident that they have the compassion, conviction and preparation to leave their mark on the world, no matter what they choose to pursue after high school. I wish them every success as they discover what the future holds for them.”
From the staff of the Center Grove ICON, we congratulate all graduating seniors and wish the best for their futures.