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480 students in 8 hours: A socially-distanced graduation

Graduate Chair Hensen saud it took some math to figure it out: Giving 480 seniors enough time to walk across the stages utilizing Cyprus' two campuses. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

MAGNA, UT— “I don’t know if we’ll ever go back to a normal graduation, but I won’t complain about the work if we do,” said Chaine Hensen with a sigh.

Hensen is the organizational force behind Cyprus High School’s Senior Walk on Tuesday.  It’s a live marathon-like graduation ceremony, in a time where most seniors are walking in a parade to celebrate the end of their four years. 

Graduate Chair Hensen said it took some math to figure it out: Giving 480 seniors enough time to walk across the stages utilizing Cyprus’ two campuses. It would take eight hours budgeting two minutes time for each student. 

Only their parents will be allowed as guests — to watch and film — although a rotating group of five teachers and some of the graduating committee will be designated as clappers and cheerers. 

Hensen said the parents were all for it. 

“They definitely want that experience for their child, to walk across that stage,” Hensen said. “The only push-back is that some parents didn’t think we were going far enough.  They wanted their kids to be with their friends.”

But Magna is still designated at the orange, moderate-risk level — unlike most of the state sitting at the low-risk yellow stage.  

Despite parents enthusiasm, Hensen said the walk — which is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. and end at 7 p.m. — won’t be fully attended.  By Friday night, 300 students out of 480 graduates had signed up to participate.