WCHS Students Set to Graduate Following COVID-19 Delays
By: Alyssa Boles -- Intern for Southern Standard
Graduating seniors Jillian Frankman and Grant Blankenship are thinking positive about the ending of their senior year and upcoming graduation ceremony this Friday night at Nunley Stadium.
COVID-19 concerns may have canceled the last two months of school, but they won’t cancel Warren County High School graduation.
Right at 420 seniors are set to walk the stage this Friday night, June 12, at Nunley Stadium. The ceremony begins at 7 p.m.
“A lot of counties canceled their graduation ceremony and we didn’t want to do that because we feel it’s an important milestone,” said WCHS executive principal Clark George. “It’s important for these seniors to walk the stage and be recognized.”
In the era of social distancing, restrictions will be in place. The main one is that each senior can only invite four guests. Seniors will be given four wristbands during graduation practice on Thursday at 3 p.m. and the wristband must be worn to gain admittance to Nunley Stadium.
The stands will be clearly marked showing where families are allowed to sit.
Students will also be well spaced on the field to abide by social distancing guidelines.
“We’ll start on the 30-yard line and go all the way back to the 5,” said George.
The ceremony will feature speeches from valedictorian Emme Smith and salutatorian Mary Humphrey. JROTC will post the colors.
“We’re doing everything we can to make it as normal as possible,” said George.
The work by school officials has been noticed by seniors, who appreciate the opportunity to have a formal ceremony.
“Under the circumstances, I am glad that we at least get to have a graduation because I know that some people don’t get to have them,” said senior Jillian Frankman, who chose to invite her mother, father, and her two sisters as her four guests.
She says she would have loved to invite her aunt and uncle, but understands the restrictions.
Fellow senior Grant Blankenship says he understands the needs for keeping people distanced but believes graduates should have been allowed to invite more than four guests.
“I feel like the restrictions on graduation were a bad decision because most people have immediate families bigger than four people and I am one of them,” said Blankenship.
He chose to invite his mother, stepfather, sister, and girlfriend. He says he would have loved to invite his younger brothers and his aunts and uncles to graduation.