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West Ottawa celebrates senior class with special drive-in graduation

Graduate with cap and gown
Posted at 6:31 AM, Jun 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-25 06:31:52-04

HOLLAND — West Ottawa High School will hold a graduation ceremony tonight for their seniors in the football stadium parking lot with vehicles and social distancing.

This Panther class has a lot to be proud of too. The seniors received more than $16.4 million in academic scholarship funding for them to continue their educations.

There's also great stories coming out of this class; like Alivia Ybarra. She overcame abuse at home, lived briefly in a hotel, and is now on her way to Michigan State.

"I get closure. So, I, I've always looked forward to graduating, you know, even in middle school, I was like, Okay, I ready to get out of here. Ready to get out of Holland, said Ybarra. So excited. So I mean, it's a great thing to be on to the next chapter in life and I'm super excited."

West Ottawa school administrators also thrilled to finally be able to honor their 2020 class.

"Our class of 2020 put in a lot of hard work and effort over four years, and we owe it to them to celebrate that, said West Ottawa Principal, Jason Reinecke.

"We're going to celebrate and we're going to focus on the things that did happen."

Things like this, 17 of their seniors completed 13 years of learning Spanish as a second language throughout all their classes; it's part of their Spanish Immersion program.

The ceremony is being held much later than expected, but a chance to really honor the class of 2020 at West Ottawa High School.