2020 graduation is back on

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Bri Davis

While COVID-19 still plays a part in our lives, principals have found a way for the class of 2020 to still be able to walk the stage.

Despite schools being canceled for the remainder of the school year, not all is lost. Classes will end on the scheduled day of May 21 yet graduation for seniors will be pushed back to July in hopes of it being safer. 

As school slowly comes to an end, graduation is right around the corner for those in their last year of high school and the view of adulthood is approaching. 

“I was really excited about graduation. That’s something that we seniors look forward to from the first day of our senior year because that’s the end,” senior TJ Fleming said.

As graduation nears, students begin to make plans for graduation day, creating their final memories as high school students.

“I was planning on going to the lock-in they do every year and I probably would’ve had dinner with my family depending on how much time I had before the lock-in,” senior Alina Dunder said. 

While students are stuck at home after spring break due to the COVID-19 outbreak, schools made the decision to cancel all school-related events as well as the rest of the school year.

“Based on CDC guidelines and the county executive orders, we were not able to hold mass gatherings after March,” Principal Jeremy Mitchell said.

Due to this announcement, seniors are forced to continue with their lives possibly not having the chance of graduation. 

“I have no regrets. I enjoyed all four years of high school at West––I joined the clubs I wanted, tried out, and played the sports I wanted,” Fleming said.

As time passes during quarantine, Mitchell holds meetings with others to talk about the possibility of having graduation after all.

I was relieved when they said that graduation was rescheduled. I was happy that it was happening no matter when it was; we all worked so hard for that moment.”

— Ashley Smith

“The principals felt like we might be able to hold at least one person-to-person culminating event even if we just extended the time frame,” Mitchell said. “We looked for two consecutive open dates and found we were limited to July 27 and 28.”

Soon, news of graduation being rescheduled to July 27 was being sent out to seniors with high hopes after months of discussing. 

“I was relieved when they said that graduation was rescheduled. I was happy that it was happening no matter when it was,” senior Ashley Smith said. “ We all worked so hard for that moment.” 

Despite the positive reactions to graduation being rescheduled to July, there have also been some uncertain feelings towards the decision.

“It would be weird to celebrate something that already feels like it was completed so long ago. The emotion wouldn’t be the same at all,” senior Laura Rein said. “But I still think it’s a sweet gesture from the district and the school.” 

As the seniors get ready to leave high school, they leave behind a trail of memories and words of advice for those who will soon follow in their footsteps.

“Persist and persevere even when things seem hopeless or like they’ll never get better,” Dunder said. “Do what makes you happy and you’ll achieve what you put your mind to.”