Class of 2020 Graduates Amidst a Pandemic

By Julia Poole, Online Feature Editor

// Bleachers full of family and friends became small crowds of observers, chairs on the football field turned into a line of students in the hallway, and the hours of glory a typical graduation brings became a few seconds for a couple of photographs. With COVID-19 forcing schools to close and the community to socially distance, Acalanes High School administration had to alter the traditional graduation ceremony.

   Acalanes held a modified graduation ceremony for the class of 2020 while upholding social distancing guidelines yesterday, June 4, between 9:45 a.m. and 4 p.m., with each student walking across the stage at an assigned time.

   Graduation kicked off with Principal Travis Bell giving a commencement address to the graduating seniors that highlighted the “amazing grit, determination, engagement, and spirit” seen in the class of 2020. 

   Before walking the stage, seniors experienced a “Walk Down Memory Lane” that included portraits of the seniors, a DJ, and cheers from dozens of supportive and enthusiastic teachers.

   Because the administration advised students to return to their cars and leave the campus quickly after receiving their diploma, many students felt dissatisfied with their goodbyes. 

   “I am happy that the ceremony was shorter, but I also feel that I didn’t get closure with my classmates,” class of 2020 graduate Georgia Carpenter said. 

   Although the modified ceremony couldn’t completely replicate the traditional celebration, many were appreciative of the opportunity to reminisce on old memories and walk the stage.

   “[Although] it wasn’t the ending we wanted, we still made some amazing memories and realized just how special each member of our class is,” class of 2020 graduate Riley Nicosia said.

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