A La Ronge high school student says she is struggling after having to complete her last year of high school online and not knowing what will happen after graduation.

Lilly Markwart is one of around 60 graduating students at Churchill Community High School.

She said it has been difficult completing her Grade 12 year online while not being able to see friends because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Markwart said she would much prefer to have in-class instruction as opposed to learning online.

“It really was difficult not to see my friends especially for my last year and now some of them might be moving and I haven’t gotten the chance to really be able to see them that much,” she said.

Markwart added she hasn’t yet heard if a formal graduation will go ahead at some point or if it will be some sort of alternative ceremony.

She said she’s upset that an actual regular graduation doesn’t appear possible but understands the complicated circumstances.

“I’m really upset, clearly, about the whole grad ceremony and everything. But that’s life and there’s other people who are struggling more than me and have bigger problems so I’m just appreciative of what I have.”

Some of the graduates’ parents have created a Facebook group to try and think of different ways to celebrate their children’s achievements while complying with COVID-19 safety protocols.

Markwart’s mother Rennea is one of these parents.

She said it has been a challenge trying to give the graduates a way to celebrate.

“I think it’s really difficult to balance trying to be safe but still trying to have those milestones in life and celebrations, which generally require a gathering of some sort,” Rennea said.

She said some ideas parents have brought forward are to have a drive-in type of graduation, having families decorate their lawns with pictures of the graduates or having schools deliver diplomas to homes while taking pictures.

(PHOTO: Lilly and Rennea Markwart and other family members. Photo courtesy Rennea Markwart.)