In the age of COVID-19, normalcy is a thing of the past. But a father of three Mason City Schools students is embracing this reality, and rather than striving for a graduation ceremony that is “as normal as possible,” he's hoping to offer "an extraordinary experience during this extraordinary time."
Ryan Hartsock is not only woven into the fabric of Mason City Schools through his children, who attend the schools, and his wife, who teaches at the district, but he is also a producer of feature films, commercials and media projects by trade. And with his background in the creative field, he's taken on a project to ensure his graduate, along with the rest of the 2020 graduating class, has the opportunity to experience the one-of-a-kind send off that they deserve via Operation Diploma Delivery.
As press release from Hartsock describes the project as such: "Following in the footsteps of the Birthday Bus, a fleet of buses would descend on Mason on May 22. Diplomas would be left on the front steps of each house in a Ziploc bag. Photos will be taken of graduates in cap and gown with the decorated bus in the background."
Operation Diploma Delivery is looking for photographers to volunteer their time to document this rite of passage. The one-day project will take place from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on May 22 and hopes to secure 30-plus photographers to follow the 33 buses and photograph 881 graduates being handed their diplomas in their caps and gowns.
Photos that are needed include a shot of the graduate with the diploma, a shot of the graduate and their family members and the student receiving their diploma. Photoshoots will last five minutes or less.
If you're interested in volunteering your time and talents to honor these graduates, reach out to Ryan Hartsock at [email protected].