Crosslake Community School’s graduation is still taking place, but it will happen virtually.

Stacy Bender, director of online programming, told the school board at its regular meeting Monday, May 11, that a graduation ceremony will still take place at 7 p.m. Friday, May 29, for the school’s 33 graduates - 25 from the Crosslake area. However, it will take place over Facebook Live.

With large gatherings discouraged to curtail the spread of COVID-19, and with eight students needing to travel from across the state, school administrators deemed it necessary to conduct a ceremony in a virtual setting.

Speakers will address the students in the live feed, and the Dueling Pianos will provide entertainment before the ceremony. Students will also have an opportunity to share a video to be shared.

“I figured if people have to sit through something, it should be awesome,” Bender said. “After that, we’ll move into ‘senior spotlights’ where students will provide their senior photos."

In the days following the ceremony, graduation parades will be scheduled with families to allow teachers to celebrate the graduates and deliver diplomas and gifts for the seniors.

“It’s not great,” Bender said. “That’s the honest truth about the whole thing, but I think that our kids are probably more accepting of the change, as long as we can focus on deploying the parades and getting them the things they want.”

With the board’s Monday, May 11, meeting being the final meeting for Lori Scharenbroich, board member Mitch Swaggert was unanimously elected the new chair of the board, effective Tuesday, May 12.

Scharenbroich informed Swaggert that she will be available in an effort to make the transition “as smooth as possible.” The role of board secretary, previously held by Swaggert, now goes to board member Heidi O’Brien.

Additionally, Cinda Jensen was appointed as a new parent school board member to fill Scharenbroich’s seat. The appointment passed unanimously.

Dan Determan may be reached at 218-855-5879 or Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at