Commencement 2020

Celebrating the Class of 2020

Principal Steven Siciliano, principal of John Jay High School, announced that the Class of 2020 Commencement will take place in the expansive parking lot of the Jefferson Valley Mall in Yorktown Heights.

The ceremony will follow the drive-in movie concept that's popular this spring because it builds in social distance. Guests will enjoy a large screen presentation of live elements and prerecorded video from their cars and listen in on car radios.

The state-of-the-art large LED screen set up is a partnership between Katonah-Lewisboro School District, Somers School District and Bedford School District. All three high schools’ graduations will be taking place Jefferson Valley Mall on June 23. John Jay will hold its ceremony from 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

A Venue where families can celebrate together

a message from Dr. Siciliano, principal of JJHS

Meaningful and memorable!

The set up will allow for traditional elements, such as live speeches from students and staff. It will also include some new twists such as pre-recorded messages and selfies of students in their caps and gowns that will be displayed as their names are announced near the end of the ceremony.

“It will certainly be a different experience than what we’re accustomed to, but we think it will also be meaningful and memorable one,” said Siciliano.  

Locking into agreements with a venue, a media company, and two other school districts is the result of a quest Siciliano jokingly calls Operation Lemonade. He and a team of student leaders, counselors, parents, PTO, senior class advisors, operations personnel and administration worked tirelessly to find a way to provide seniors with a graduation ceremony where they could be together. (More)  

Caps and Gowns delivered May 29

Friday, May 29 between the hours of 1-3 p.m. is the tentative date and time to have caps and gowns delivered to students. It’s tentative since we are waiting for ordered items such as t-shirts to all seniors, for example, to arrive. To make it extra special, know that parents, senior class advisors, and PTO are putting together goodie bags, including donated gifts by area businesses, to make the cap and gown distribution become one big care package for our seniors, that hopefully puts a smile on their faces.

Staff will distribute the care packages to our seniors from the district’s yellow school buses that parents will be invited to decorate before it leaves the transportation bay with its cargo. It will be wonderful to have staff and students reconnect at this time, however, in a socially distant manner for everyone’s continued safety.

Senior Selfies due by June 1

Now that we have a graduation venue, we have to get ready!

Once our seniors have received their care packages, we will need them to take a selfie and record a ten-second message to family and friends in their cap and gown, ready to be uploaded by June 1. Mr. Steve Zoeller and Ms. Patty Dente, our senior advisors, will provide detailed information as to the steps necessary to do this later this week.

Yearbooks and Diplomas

We will not receive the yearbooks in time to include them in the care packages. Our current thinking is to have a “drive up” distribution of yearbooks and diplomas in the front circle of the high school, the morning of graduation, as will not have the time or the designated space to distribute them at the JV Mall.  Watch for updates on this that will come at the end of next week.



Lawn Signs

Lawn signs have also been ordered by many families through the PTO, and we are also expecting their arrival shortly. Our Operations staff will proudly display them along the fences in front of the high school through graduation day.