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A ride to remember in a year like no other

CCA seniors parade through the streets of Tiffin
Clear Creek Amana High School seniors Madison and Miranda Mason react to the crowd along the route of a seniors parade Friday, May 1, in Tiffin. A group of CCA parents organized the nearly two-hour event as a unique send-off in place of graduation, which was cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

TIFFIN– Clear Creek Amana (CCA) High School seniors were to have donned their “Clipper Blue” caps and gowns, and crossed the stage to receive their hard-earned diplomas on Friday, May 22, in a graduation ceremony.
However, with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to wipe out mass gatherings, the district cancelled the event and announced a “virtual ceremony” in its place at 7 p.m. on May 22. The district also tentatively announced an official ceremony for July 24 with the decision to be made by July 10.
A group of CCA parents decided to kick off “Graduation Month” with a parade for the senior class. The unofficial (not school-sponsored) event was held on Friday, May 1, as seniors and their families caravanned through the streets of Tiffin for nearly two hours.
“Who ever said that you had to have a ‘ceremony’ for graduation anyway? Can’t wait to celebrate the seniors AND our awesome COMMUNITY!” said a post on the event’s Facebook page.
As the parade crisscrossed the streets of Tiffin, led by a Johnson County Sheriff’s Office deputy and the Tiffin Fire Department, people gathered in their yards and driveways (many chalked with messages of support for the seniors) waving and cheering the grads.
CCA parent Jacinda Bunch put her thoughts about the event into words. Bunch is the mother of senior Cheyaenne Bunch.
“The joy and longing of the seniors, enthusiasm of the families, and support from the community was absolutely amazing!” she said. “I was not expecting to be emotional at all. I’ve always viewed graduations as a celebration, a new beginning. But as we cruised through Tiffin, I saw friends and complete strangers cheering for every single senior that cruised by. Some simply waved or clapped, some gave a standing ovation, some yelled congratulations, and many took videos or pictures, and some made an extra special effort to read the seniors’ name to congratulate them personally. Thank you to the Clear Creek Amana community for giving our seniors that special moment tonight.”
The district has announced seniors can pick up their diplomas, and drop off school property (athletic uniforms, textbooks and Chromebook) Friday, May 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the high school. A one-way route will be established with stations along the way where masked and gloved school staff will be located to receive the items, and distribute the diplomas while the seniors remain in their vehicles.