The Freeport High School Class of 2020 marches down Main Street in Freeport. Hannah LaClaire / The Times Record

In order to abide by COVID-19 protocols for the second year in a row, Freeport High School will once more host their graduation ceremony at the Saco Drive-in Theater.

The celebration for the Class of 2021 will be held on Sunday, June 13th at 8:30 p.m. Gates to the theater will open at 7:45 p.m. with the ceremony beginning  at 8:30 p.m.

Each student will be able to bring one car full of family members due to a capacity limit at the drive-in theater. According to a community letter from Freeport High School Principal Jennifer Gulko, once a total number of initial cars is determined, students needing a second vehicles will be entered into a lottery.

Gulko said that while last year’s graduation consisted of pre-recorded speeches and a photo slide show of graduates, this year the graduation will have a live ceremony.

“The Class of 2021 members felt strongly about walking across a stage and the ceremony will be projected onto the drive-in screen so all guests and graduates can see it,” Gulko said. “This plan will enable the whole class to celebrate together and will allow graduates to bring some family members to share in this celebration while also following CDC and state guidelines for social distancing.”

Gulko added that the school is hiring an audiovisual team to layout the stage and manage the livestream, which will allow more people at home to tune into the ceremony.

According to Freeport High School Senior Liam Hornschild-Bear the class of 2021, on a basic level, will be remembered for their resilience and perseverance throughout COVID-19.

“I think our array of skills really defines us as the class of 2021,” Hornschild-Bear said, noting that one silver-lining of COVID was a “colorful pallet of new opportunities,” that allowed some students to pursue new interests that may have not been available in the classroom.

“At the same time, the actual remote learning also definitely separated us,” he added. “To a certain extent we still feel that separation.”

Throughout Hornschild-Bear’s four years at Freeport High School, he was on the leadership team for the Latin Club and the National Honors Society, played on the varsity tennis team and acted as the student representative for the Regional School Unit 5 school board.

Outside of the classroom, Hornschild-Bear also started an independent student newspaper and works as a part-time legal assistant in Yarmouth. Going forward, he plans to pursue an undergraduate degree in Germany come fall.

According to Hornschild-Bear, the graduation venue was determined through a class vote between the drive-in theater or the turf field. While Hornschild-Bear said he was first in favor of the turf field, he has since became more excited about the drive-in ceremony.

“I think it’s a safe but also a fulfilling opportunity to graduate in a somewhat normal manner.” Hornschild-Bear said. “Everyone understands that we’re in a pandemic so I think especially our class, we knew from the very beginning, that we have to be super open-minded.”

Hornschild-Bear added that, ultimately, he is thankful to RSU 5 for “an opportunity to have a graduation that feels normal in a time when almost nothings normal.”

Freeport High School transitioned to five-days in person learning on in early April after following a hybrid learning model since September.

According to Freeport High School’s website, there are 145 students in the senior class.

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