Students, parents, and staff gathered in the Paris Gibson Education Center parking lot Thursday as seniors rang a large bell to symbolize their completion of high school.
Paris Gibson science teacher Jonathan Logan explained the meaning behind this traditional Paris Gibson event: “The bell ringing has always been a way to symbolize the step into the next life or the next thing that the students are going to do,” Logan said.
Although the bell-ringing usually takes place various times throughout the year, according to each student’s course completion date, COVID-19 restrictions required students and staff to gather for a single ceremony for all bell-ringers instead.
“With COVID the way it is and us being locked down, the problem is we can’t all get together and ring the bell...and this happens throughout the year. Some people finish in October...or maybe June,” Logan said.
Logan said that this year’s outdoor bell-ringing is a way to publicly honor the achievements and hard work of the students.
“We're trying to celebrate the students, their achievement, their hard work, the things they've overcome. Our school is about hope and opportunity and our students take advantage of it, so we thought it was a really good way to come out today, celebrate. Instead of ringing the bell together as a school like we do throughout the year, we're ringing it for the neighborhood,” Logan said.
The graduating seniors' yard signs are on display on the grass outside the side parking lot of the Paris Gibson Education Center, located at 2400 Central Avenue in Great Falls.