The Class of 2020 is enduring disruptions to their senior year that hopefully no one ever has to deal with again. Distance learning. Cancellation of spring sports. Uncertain commencement plans. This class will have a bond like few others have experienced.

Multiple methods have emerged as ways to recognize the seniors in Owatonna and elsewhere. The 'Be The Light MN' campaign has been a visually stunning approach to honor students. It began as a grassroots effort, but with social media involvement spiraled into popularity.

One of the more recent modifications has been to put students on the fields, while observing the guidelines of social distancing. The Owatonna stadium field lights were turned Monday, May 4 for the final time, according to Activities Director Marc Achterkirch.

Students were invited. @huskiesfootball tweeted, "Hope to see all our 2020 grads (regardless of sport!) and everyone who supports them. They gave up a lot this distance."

Lights were also turned on again at the Lincoln Soccer Complex in Owatonna and at Morehouse Park, home of the softball team. Fuller Field at Dartt's Park, which was the first Owatonna facility to join #BeTheLightMN in early April, has been turning on the lights most Fridays.

Owatonna seniors received yard signs along with their caps and gowns Friday, May 1 as staff and teachers joining OHS administration to hand deliver those items.

Some districts added 20-yard sprints to their Monday night lighting of the lights ceremonies. Triton was one of those such districts.

The New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva district also distributed signs to students recently and turned field lights on again on Monday. Medford and Blooming Prairie have also used signs as a way to honor their seniors.


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