Olathe NW throws early graduation ceremony for grad joining Army

This is Our KC

OLATHE, Kan. — Olathe Northwest High School celebrated one of its own with a special graduation ceremony. 

On Tuesday, Principal Chris Zuck read his 2020 commencement speech all for one senior: Carsen Cook. 

“I was pretty happy that I was even getting a ceremony at that point because I just thought I would get my diploma mailed to me, so it was a little surprising,” Carsen said.

The school year came to an abrupt end because of COVID-19, and instead of celebrating graduating seniors right away with the usual pomp and circumstance, Olathe School District is waiting until later this summer. 

But there’s one exception. Students joining the military get their own ceremony now. 

“This is so exciting,” Carsen’s mom Melanie said. “I have goosebumps.” 

“He leaves June 1 for training,” his dad Dan said. 

Olathe NW hopes the ceremony shows Carsen how much they appreciate his sacrifice and hard work.

The new Raven grad is headed into the Army and already has big plans for his future. 

“One day I hope to work for Boeing as a mechanic,” he said. “That’s something I really, really want to do.”



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