When Immanuel Lutheran School realized that they wouldn’t be able to host a traditional graduation service for their 8th grade students, Principal Karen Bahn and parent Derrick Backaus brainstormed an idea to commemorate the students’ success in video form.
“When we came to the realization we couldn’t have graduation like we usually do, Derrick mentioned in an email that it’s too bad the parents and kids can’t say anything about their time at Immanuel,” recalled Bahn. “I said to Derrick, maybe we could record the kids and any parents that wanted to say something and make a video.”
Backaus suggested local media company, TriMedia (disclosure for our site here), who helped coordinate the videos of parents, grandparents, teachers, and students reflecting on their education through Immanuel.
“I was looking for a professional video that these kids could ‘hate’ doing today but tomorrow would look back saying they were so glad to be part of,” said Backaus. “My daughter, Olivia, is the last of our three children not only to graduate ILS but attend the school since preschool. So this graduation wasn’t only for her, but it was for Theresa and I. This was the very last time that we would consistently be with our ‘school family.'”
A small graduating class of just nine students, the school is more like family.
“Many of the students have been at Immanuel since daycare or preschool,” said Bahn. “The 8th grade graduation service, the reception, and the school picnic are all important events the students look forward to and did not get to participate in. We still wanted to make their graduation special, so we thought the video would be a way to create memories.”
“Over the course of almost 20 years there are so many relationships that have been built with genuine people,” added Backaus. “The last few months leading up to graduation, the fun time spent with these friends have been lost. Graduation for these kids is something special, they’re leaving a school they’ve spent a good share of their life in. This video was the least we could do!”