Kenmare ND - Features

Real People. Real Jobs. Real Adventures.

Kenmare News









Thanks for reading some of the latest features about area people and events.  

To view every page and read every word of The Kenmare News each week,
subscribe to our ONLINE EDITION


Downtown banners honor 2020 Kenmare graduates...

With high school graduation in limbo for five weeks and because high school seniors weren’t able to finish their final semester as they wanted to, it was time to do something special for them.

5/19/20 (Tue)

Special recognition . . . New banners around the Downtown Square in Kenmare display photographs of the 2020 Kenmare High School graduates. The Kenmare School Board put up $1,500 to get the banners made and displayed to honor the graduates during an historical semester.

By Marvin Baker

With high school graduation in limbo for five weeks and because high school seniors weren’t able to finish their final semester as they wanted to, it was time to do something special for them.

During its April meeting, the Kenmare School Board okayed a $1,500 expenditure to create banners with the graduates’ names and photographs, to be displayed downtown.

The Class of 2020 has 18 graduates.

School board member Tonya Kellenberger spearheaded the drive to get the banners made and have them displayed before a delayed graduation will take place on June 14.

“It all just started with an idea to honor the graduates, because even though it was long ago, I remember my graduation as a highlight in my life,” Kellenberger said. “The graduates will have a keepsake and a story to go with it. We are living in a time that will be in the history books.”

Kellenberger saw that several other schools were doing the banners and as things were looking bleak for the seniors for a while, she thought it would be a way to give the Class of 2020 some well deserved recognition.

Superintendent Dr. Tim Godfrey echoed Kellenberger’s comments. In fact, he said it was one school, in particular, that caught his attention.

“We actually got the idea when we saw a post about Wishek Public Schools doing this for their seniors,” Godfrey said. “I think in this time and situation, we need to do everything we can to honor our graduating class.”

Godfrey believes the 2020 graduating class has been shortchanged on their final semester through no fault of their own and communities like Kenmare and Wishek need to do what they can to create good lasting memories for them.

“Our goal is to make this time feel as special and important for them as possible since this is as close to normal as we can get,” he said. “It could very well become an annual tradition.  What would make it even more special is getting local businesses to sponsor a graduate.”

Staff from Burke-Divide Electric donated their time and equipment to put the banners around the Downtown Square in place of the business banners that hung there previously.

Burke-Divide modified the banners to fit the existing brackets.

The goal was to get as many of the senior banners as possible close to the businesses where the graduates’ parents work, or where the graduates themselves work.

“Ashley (Bauer) was the first one out and her mom happens to work at Essler Insurance, so Burke-Divide did their best to put them up by their parents’ place of work,” Kellenberger said. “They filled all the others in and I think they did a great job.”

Stevicks printed the banners at a discount, according to Kellenberger, in what seemed like a rapid response.

“I had done some leg work prior to presenting this to the board,” she said. “So I knew we could have them up in early May.”

She added, “Stevick’s has done many projects for the school and activities and came up with a reasonable price and amazing turnaround time. I also think it’s really important to shop local.”

The banners will remain in place until they are presented to the Class of ‘20 graduates at their graduation ceremony on June 14.

“I would like to give a shout out to all the amazing people who helped with the project,” Kellenberger said. “City employees, Stevicks, Burke-Divide Electric, teachers and administration all helped with this project. We even had a local photographer offer to photograph the graduates for free. I certainly didn’t do it alone.” ... Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!