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Congratulations to the Class of 2020!

Read a message to the Class of 2020 from Gov. Janet Mills

Read the May 19th letter from Headmaster Menard

We are so proud of the members of the Class of 2020—our seniors have been especially affected by pandemic closures and cancellations. While the format for this year’s Commencement will be different, our enthusiasm for honoring student accomplishments has never waned. We remain committed to creating fun and meaningful celebratory experiences and have developed a new plan to recognize our Thornton Academy Class of 2020.

LIVE!  Online Athletic Awards Night: Wednesday June 3rd at 6:00pm 
(Watch recorded ceremony!)

The following events will be recorded in advance and available to view at these times:
Online Senior Assembly: Thursday June 4th at 9:30am
(Watch recorded ceremony!)

Online Baccalaureate: Friday June 5th at 7:00pm

In an effort to recreate a traditional Thornton Academy Commencement event, we will replicate and film individual segments of our ceremony on campus, while ensuring physical distancing protocols are observed. These individually filmed segments will then be compiled to create the video that will be shown at our 2020 Commencement events.

Due to the social distancing restrictions placed upon the Saco Drive-In, we will need to divide the class of 2020 into two viewing groups based on students’ last name. 

Commencement 2020 Viewing Groups:

Seniors with last names A-K will attend the viewing
on Tuesday, June 23rd at 9:00pm.

Seniors with last names L-Z will attend the viewing
on Wednesday, June 24th at 9:00pm.

Each senior will be allowed one vehicle for themselves and their immediate family members; no additional guests will be able to be accommodated. Diplomas and hard copies of baccalaureate and graduation programs will be mailed home prior to these Commencement events. For those unable to be with us at the Saco Drive-In, the Commencement video and slideshow will be live streamed during the viewing on June 24th. It will also be shared with all seniors, parents, and members of the Thornton Academy community electronically on June 25th. 

Ticket information will be available in a TA Graduation Starter Pack, which will be given to each graduating senior during the first week of June. 

All seniors are encouraged to pick up their individualized TA Graduation Starter Pack on Friday, May 29th. Cars will be directed to the Clark Street entrance of the student parking lot and into the appropriate bus loop in order to allow each student to get their personalized pack in a safe and orderly manner. For the safety of all, seniors will not leave their cars and staff will place the box in the trunk of the vehicle. 

Graduation Starter Pack Pick-Up on Friday, May 29th:

Seniors with last names A-K will be able to pick up boxes from 10am-12pm. 

Seniors with last names L-Z will be able to pick up boxes from 12:30-2:30pm.

Each starter pack will include a cap, gown, and tassel; honor pins and cords; yearbooks (if pre-ordered); and directions for upcoming events, including directions to sign up for a time slot to be videotaped for the virtual Commencement event that we’re creating. 


We know how important it is to maintain as many traditions as possible, so our seniors will be invited to come to campus to be filmed in cap and gown with their diploma. As always, safety is our top priority. We have partnered with the Saco Police Department to arrange for their presence during filming sessions; they will help us ensure that physical distancing protocols are observed while students are on campus. 

We have determined that up to five additional family members can be accommodated to witness and support each graduate’s achievement during the filming on campus, at the same time meeting the state guideline of a 50-person gathering limit.

In keeping with tradition, the President of Thornton Academy’s Board of Trustees will present diplomas to students in a manner that adheres to social distancing guidelines. Directions to sign up for a 20-minute time slot on either Wednesday, June 3rd or Thursday, June 4th will be included in each Graduation Starter Pack.

For the class of 2020, Thornton Academy will gift one free 8x10 professional photograph taken by Bruce Haskell Photography to each senior. Ordering information from Bruce Haskell will be provided for families interested in purchasing additional photos. 

Note: Seniors should drop off all textbooks, uniforms, and any other TA property at the time of their appointment for this filming.

a student is all smiles after receiving his diploma

Have questions after reading through this info? Send them to:

Check your TA email frequently!
New info will be shared as it becomes available.

Virtual Event Recordings

United Senior Recognition Project!

Thornton Academy is proud to partner with Biddeford High School for Candles Unite!

Gold and orange lights are available for a suggested donation of $5 each, and a limited supply of electric window candles are available as well for $4 each (the bulbs will not work in battery-operated holders).

Cash, check or Venmo (@KarenChasse) is accepted - simply stay in your car, and distribution will occur in a drive-thru manner. In honor of our seniors, all funds raised will be split equally between the two towns to help feed families in our communities. #SeniorsUnite2020

Graduation FAQs

Do I need Commencement at Saco Drive-In?  Yes. Ticket information will be available in a TA Graduation Starter Pack, which will be given to each graduating senior during the first week of June. However, each car will be checked in so you must attend your assigned night and will be allowed only one car per student/family. 

Will a “live feed” of the ceremony be available ? Yes. The The second showing of the Commencement video and senior slideshow on June 24th will be live streamed online at A recording of the ceremony will be sent to all members of the TA learning community on June 25th.