NH high school will put seniors on ski lift to have social-distanced graduation

NH high school will put seniors on ski lift to have social-distanced graduation
© Getty Images

A New Hampshire high school has come up with a unique way to hold its graduation ceremony in person during the coronavirus pandemic: a ski lift. 

According to local CBS affiliate, WCAX 3, Kennett High School in Conway, N.H., will put its seniors on a ski lift, with an empty seat left between each student, so they can get their diploma at the top of a mountain. 

"People will ride it up, get their diploma, get a picture of them on the top of a mountain, they'll go to a different place with a second photographer, and get a pretty amazing backdrop," said the school's principal, Kevin Carpenter.


The school plans to use the ski lifts at Cranmore Mountain nearby, and have contingency plans in place for rain as well as alternatives for those who don't want to ride in the chair. 

The New Hampshire Union Leader reports students who don't want to take the lift to the summit can be presented with their diploma at the base of the mountain. 

Carpenter said the experience — riding up, the diploma presentation, photo and ride down — should take about 30 minutes per student. The 2020 graduating class at the school is made up of 172 students. There will also be a safe, socially-distanced parade of cars to celebrate after graduation.

“How cool is it to live in a ski town and graduate at the top of a mountain, by chairlift? It will be a memorable day for sure,” Cranmore’s director of marketing told The Union Leader. 

Students across the country have been partaking in virtual or altered graduation events during the pandemic, as efforts to social distance and prevent COVID-19 from spreading have dashed schools' original ceremonies.