Drive by graduate

Many seniors across northern Michigan would have been preparing for graduation this weekend.

But the coronavirus pandemic changed those plans.

After what’s been a unique school year, a unique graduation seemed all the more appropriate for Baldwin Community Schools and their seniors.

That includes Brad Taylor.

“I missed almost half the year so I got to stay back home and work all the time,” said Taylor.

And with seniors still home, the school figured, why not bring the graduation ceremony right to each student’s front yard.

“I think I like it this way because it’s more memorable. It shows that they care about me and they’d do anything for me.  It was super fun. It got me emotional, but I’m not going to cry,” said Taylor.

Walks across the stage may have been replaced with a walk across the porch, but the emotion of finally having that diploma was still just as real for these seniors.

“10 years, 20 years down the road, they won’t talk about how the gym was packed and how hot it was and those kind of things, but they’ll talk about how people showed up right at their house and they graduated in their front lawn,” said Baldwin Superintendent Rick Heitmeyer.

There’s been no shortage of life lessons for these seniors in recent months.

Brad says this journey simply taught him that greatness prevails.

“If I got through the coronavirus and still graduate, I can graduate from U of M with paleontology. We’ve gone through a lot and we’ve struggled to keep in touch but through it all we’ve brought it together,” said Taylor.