Graduation ceremony set for Saturday

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Members of the class of 2020 have certainly seen an unconventional end to their high school careers compared to years past, and the same could be said for the class’s upcoming graduation ceremony.

Graduation is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, July 18, at Hart County High School’s Herndon Stadium where the school system will honor its 224 graduates who formally finished classes in the spring, but due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic were unable to have a ceremony.

However, procedures are to be different at Saturday’s ceremony to accommodate social distancing.

Each graduate is receiving six tickets, principal Kevin Gaines said, a turn from previous years where tickets weren’t necessary.

Gaines said the stage will be turned so that people can sit on both sides, the visitor stands and the home stands,  and the field will be open for those who wish to bring a lawn chair and view the ceremony from the field.

“That way people can space out and social distance,” Gaines said.

Superintendent Jay Floyd said at Monday night’s regular board of education meeting students won’t be marching together to the field as they normally would. Students are to find their seats and the ceremony will begin.

“Our number one goal is to have a graduation for our seniors and I think this is going to be nice,” Floyd said.

The senior class has seen a different year all around due to pandemic-prompted closures and cancellations, but Gaines hopes to give the class of 2020 a proper send-off.

“Obviously there’s been a lot of twists and turns with this class. It’s been unusual,” Gaines said. “But there again, it’s been special too. They’ve been able to do some things, like a parade, and things that other classes have not gotten to do so we’ve tried our best to make it as special as we could for them considering the circumstance.”

Speeches are still to be delivered and students will still walk across the stage to receive their diplomas.

Gaines said he’s looking forward to seeing the students again, considering the teachers and administrators haven’t seen them since schools closed in March.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to finally recognize the class of 2020,” Gaines said.