LEWISTON — After looking at several options, Lewiston High School Principal Jake Langlais has announced in a letter to the seniors and their families that graduation will take place at the Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport in Auburn on June 6 at 10 a.m.

The school chose the airport after considering several locations and the students’ desire not to have a virtual graduation.

“I think what became the focus for us is when we heard from parents, when we heard from kids on our different platforms, was that there are moments during a graduation that we need to do our very best to preserve,” Langlais said. “Kids were selfless about their needs, they just wanted to make sure that we had something; they preferred it not to be virtual and they can do it with their families and other people.”

Some moments the school was looking to preserve were parents able to see their child get their diploma, a student being able to walk across the stage to have their moment and to be together in one place.

Langlais believes the airport will accommodate those moments.

He heard from many people Friday morning.


“I received a number of emails, some expressed concerns and just wanted know more about the health and safety precautions,” Langlais said. “I think I have been able to answer those effectively. We had a number of emails come in to thank us for putting in the time and making an effort to make sure kids and parents have this opportunity to celebrate this milestone.”

Langlais said there will be a large LED screen to project the ceremony and they will have an FM transmitter so people can listen to the ceremony in their vehicle. The ceremony will also be livestreamed on the school’s Facebook page, YouTube channel and the School Department’s website for those who can’t make the ceremony. A photographer will capture images of students as a memento. Students will go up on the stage one at a time.

Parking spaces will be 6 feet apart and people are asked to wear face masks if they roll down their windows.

The school is also looking for a way to transport students who may not be able to get there on their own.

“We are coordinating with Hudson Bus Lines, we have a number of vans, we aren’t going to be able to use buses because of the different criteria because it’s too limiting,” Langlais said. “But we are looking at how many vans do we have, how many folks we can have drive those vans, how do we get as many people as we can get who don’t have transportation available. Again, there’s going to be limitations, it just is.”

Another reason the airport was chosen was of the airplane hangar where the stage can be moved in case of bad weather.


Langlais said he considered holding off the graduation until later this summer, but feared some graduates might not be able to attend because of their plans, such as work, military service, training or college athletics.

“It would be hard for them to participate and I didn’t want to exempt them,” he said. “We tried to keep our timeline as close to (June 5), which was our original graduation date.”

While he’s uncertain, Langlais believes the Class of 2020 will make history as the first to receive their diplomas outside Lewiston.

“To my knowledge, I don’t know if it has ever happened outside the city limits,” he said.

Graduates of Edward Little High School in Auburn will stay in the city for their ceremony on the same day and at the airport as well. The commencement starts at 7 p.m.

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