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Seniors, schools create a way to celebrate commencements

By Melissa McCaghren

Slatonite GM

The Slaton High School gym normally is full of cheers when the seniors, dressed in their red caps and gowns, walk into the gym.

On Monday (May 4), when Kevondrick Gober walked in, the gym, which should be filled with family, friends and even graduation enthusiasts, was silent except his four family members he was allowed to invite.

Gober was met by Principal Tiffany Potts and Assistant Principal Coby Johnson, not to just congratulate him, but to direct him on how to receive his diploma for the cameras.

It won’t be until May 19 when that presentation is official – and instead shown at Stars and Stripes Drive-In in Lubbock.

Thanks to COVID-19, Slaton High School, along with Southland, Wilson, Roosevelt and other schools across the nation, has had to adapt in order to have some form of graduation.

Slaton High School Principal said the graduation filming, which is being done by Contract Cre8tive took about 12 hours over the course of two days.

That said, Potts said the effort was worth it for the students to have some sort of ceremony. “We want the virtual graduation viewing to have all of the components of a traditional graduation, so we have organized all of the class speeches, invocation and benediction, and pledge.  These students had to work to get these parts written, practiced and filmed as part of the graduation,” she said. “In addition, each senior was asked to sign up for a time to film and was encouraged to bring up to four family members with them to watch them walk the stage.  It was an exciting time preparing all of the parts for this graduation event.”

Even though the ceremony will be shown as a movie instead of at the high school gymnasium, that doesn’t mean the public won’t get to celebrate with the students.

There will be a graduation parade Tuesday (May 19) at 6 p.m. around downtown. Students will get to ride in a car they decorated, celebrating their accomplishments. The virtual ceremony itself will begin at 9 p.m. at Stars and Strips Drive-In, located at Clovis Road in Lubbock.

“We are so excited  to see the community line the streets, gather around the square, and support our graduates as they take this next step in their journey to adulthood,” said Potts.

For more information, please read the Thursday edition of The Slatonite.

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