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Recent Maize South High School student experiences graduation in an unforgettable way

Recent Maize South High School graduate Piper Pennetti experienced her graduation in a way she will never forget. Two days before she was scheduled to cross the stage, she tested positive for COVID-19. When she first heard the news, she was mad, then cried. After speaking with her high school counselor, though, she realized that this experience will only make her college graduation even better. “I felt better knowing I wasn’t missing out on both of my graduations and that I’d still get to wear my cap and gown one day down the road,” Piper said. 

A few days after graduation and when Piper was out of quarantine, Maize South High School Principal David Hickerson invited her back for her own private ceremony. The ceremony consisted of Piper; Mr. Hickerson; Dr. Chad Higgins, Superintendent; and three Maize Board of Education members, who presented Piper with her diploma. 

“At first, I was surprised. I knew I would have to get my diploma, but I figured they would mail it to me,” Piper said. “I was excited that people wanted to provide a graduation experience for me. I was able to wear my gown, and my mom was able to have photos. It meant a lot to me.” 

During her surprise graduation, Piper connected with school board member Dr. Jeff Jarman, Director of the Elliott School of Communications at Wichita State University (WSU). She plans to attend WSU in the fall and major in journalism. “I will forever remember this and how they tried to make it special for me,” Piper said.