Jada Wilson

Governor Kim Reynolds says Iowa schools and students are getting creative about graduation ceremonies, with districts planning vehicle parades, virtual ceremonies, and other socially-distanced events to help the Class of 2020 celebrate.

Reynolds invited Glenwood senior Jada Wilson to speak at her daily news conference.

“I know that it is definitely not what any of us expected and I wish that I had more words of comfort to offer — but I don’t know what is going to happen next,” Wilson says. “I don’t know when things will return to normal because nobody knows what normal is any more. The most that I can offer to myself, and to you all, is that every single person is experiencing the same feelings that we have right now.”

Jack Dray, a graduating senior from Dowling High School in West Des Moines, was also invited to deliver a mini-commencement

Jack Dray


“It has been easy to fall victim to feelings of sadness and loss. To dwell on the moments and memories that might have been, and to fear the uncertainty that lies ahead. Yet, this pandemic has taught me the importance of having a good mindset, staying positive, and recognizing my blessings,” Dray says.

Reynolds says the Class of 2020 has gained valuable perspective from living through a pandemic — learning what’s really important life and what they can do without.

Here’s a video message the governor released for seniors.