Philomath High School
Philomath High School (File photo by Logan Hannigan-Downs)

Philomath Academy and Philomath High School students who become candidates to receive diplomas next spring will join together for a single ceremony in June.

Dan Johnson, the academy’s principal, also said during a school board meeting last month that all students in the Class of 2021 will receive a PHS diploma regardless of the last school attended.

Parents of students who transferred from the high school to the academy while pandemic restrictions continue had some concerns about how it might impact the ceremony and what the diploma would say, Johnson said.

PHS Principal Mike Bussard, superintendent Susan Halliday and the academy’s Johnson got together to come up with a solution.

“We agreed that one ceremony for this year for both the academy and high school students — which will eliminate the need for kids to transfer back and forth and all of the craziness that can ensue with that — will be on June 5 at noon, Clemens Field, and every student will receive a PHS diploma.”

One difference will be with final transcripts, which are most often needed for students headed to college. Those include the name of the last school attended, Johnson said.

“It goes without saying that thus far, the Philomath Academy and Philomath High School are a nice partnership and close in proximity to one other,” Bussard said. “Under normal circumstances when we get students on campus, I think the Philomath Academy is really going to thrive in what it’s general purpose is — really helping those students that just don’t fit into the regular educational mode. So we’re excited about what the Philomath Academy will look like under Dan’s guidance.”

All graduates next spring will wear the traditional PHS colors of black and gold.

“We want to make sure the board knows this, the community knows this, we’re excited to have graduation … we’re going to have graduation this year,” Johnson said. “I’m optimistic that everything we’re reading about in the news about vaccines and things will allow us to have an in-person graduation.”

Philomath Academy would then have its first stand-alone graduation ceremony with the Class of 2022. The academy’s colors, by the way, are blue and silver.