School administrator goes to drive-thru where student is working to tell her she’s valedictorian

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(CBS News) — With schools closed and social distancing guidelines in place, educators have had to find creative ways to communicate with their students. Fortunately, in most places, restaurants are still open for takeout and drive-thru orders. And that’s where one school administrator in Michigan found a student she needed to talk to.

Michelle Floering, the secondary principal of Grand Traverse Academy (GTA), had some big news to deliver to high school senior Kaitlyn Watson. She knew Watson worked at a restaurant called Culver’s, so Floering decided to take a trip to the drive-thru.

Michelle Floering decided to surprise a student at her place of work. Due to social distancing guidelines, she couldn’t hug her – but she could deliver some big news. MICHELLE FLOERING

After placing her order, Floering pulled up to the window and asked for Watson, who came over in her Culver’s uniform. 

“Hi Kaitlyn. So, I got you on camera because I want to announce something to you today,” Floering said, filming her interaction with the student. “You are GTA’s 2020 class valedictorian!”

Watson was astounded by the news. “I am? Oh my gosh! Thank you so much,” she said in shock.

“You’re welcome. And I know we have to stay six feet away so I can’t give you a hug, but congratulations. Well deserved,” Floering said. She then joked that the other employee still had her credit card after she paid for the custard she ordered. 

Floering told Watson she couldn’t wait to tell her the news. But under the circumstances, she had to adapt.

And so, for at least one high school, the new normal is a “drive-thru valedictorian.”

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