This year has tested our adaptability like never before. As students, educators, employees, friends and families, we’ve been tasked to rise to the challenge and continue teaching, learning and living despite entering such obscure territories.

The class of 2020 felt these challenges on every level as they quickly adjusted to a new remote learning dynamic and strict no-contact regimens due to COVID-19 precautions. While enduring countless stages of trial and error, they were tasked with the challenge to continue staying afloat and to help one another in their final year of high school.

Nate (left) and Niko (right) set up the cable work from the Network room to the access points.

We at OnlineNW were excited to provide the Dayton High School WiFi for the graduation livestream event. A unique project for a special ceremony, signifying both a closed chapter for the graduates and an open one; completing their highschool careers despite towering adversities and setting a focus on their futures ahead. Indeed, futures defined by their ability to persevere through hardship and adapt to diverse learning models.

Four days before the ceremony, OnlineNW field and network technicians Nate, Niko and Phil, strategically placed three WiFi access points on campus; two on top of the new gym and one on the field. These access points are what provided the location with connectivity, allowing each user to tune into the graduation up close via live video from their cars.

Cars line the sports field facing the stage

On the day of graduation, an array of cars lined the sports field facing the graduation stage, brightly embellished in maroon, black and white, with decorative writing and balloons tied above. Students and teachers spoke about this year’s graduating class and their unique experiences between the beginning and end of a history-making year. Notable speakers included previous Junior High and High School principal Jami Fluke as well as student-nominated speaker Tera Solem, Dayton High School and Junior High’s Social Studies teacher and College/Career Facilitator. Applause and whistling was replaced by the celebratory beeping of car horns and afterward, students received their diplomas from their homes via delivery following a spirited post-ceremony parade.

This year was unorthodox and everyone has done a lot of figuring it out as they go. As Skysail teacher Jannelle Jackson would say, you have “built an airplane in the sky” — a learning process with no way to slow down or stop by landing on solid ground. And despite the chaos, you did it.

We would like to leave this year’s graduating class with a message from all of us at OnlineNW. Recognize the value of this difficult experience and know that your strength and adaptability will benefit you for years to come. We are rooting for you as innovators, inventors and history-makers in our rapidly developing economy. Congratulations to the graduating class of 2020, to Dayton’s Pirate Nation and beyond. The future holds great things for you.