by Danny Wade
Humboldt High School seniors may have been robbed of a large portion of their final year of high school but school officials made sure they received their final send off. Graduation services were held last Friday.
With coronavirus playing havoc on schools and on society, leadership of Humboldt City Schools would not let the pandemic get in the way of the Humboldt Jr./Sr. High School Class of 2020 graduation, and seniors graduating with a proper ceremony.
Barker Memorial Stadium was the site of this year’s graduation services. Chairs for students were lined up on the football field, spread six feet apart. The bleachers were used for family and friends only. Each student was given six tickets for their loved ones to attend. Designated seating was used to assure social distancing measures were taken for their safety as well.
At 6 p.m., the processional began. Students, two by two, walked to their respective seats on the field. This year’s class had 74 seniors. Once the students reached their seats, the program began.
HHS senior Caleb Pettigrew presented the invocation, followed by the National Guard presenting the colors and Chariot Dugger singing a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem.
HJSHS principal welcomed the crowd and the seniors. He congratulated this group of seniors for their hard work, in spite of the pandemic.
Class of 2020 president, Courtney Dickey Jr. addressed his senior class. Next, salutatorian Reagan Buchanan gave her speech followed by valedictorian Victoria Reid presenting her speech to her fellow classmates and crowd.
Kenya Hudson, school counselor, was next up on the program. Hudson recognized every senior that received a scholarship. This took quite a while since the majority of the student body received one or more scholarship offers. Hudson then recognized Tennessee Scholars, FFA recognition, Beta Club members, Viking Scholars and others.
Next on the agenda was the most important part of any graduation ceremony, presentation of diplomas. Dr. Lindsey Bradford, assistant principal of HJSHS, announced each senior’s name. As each senior walked across the stage, principal Newman handed the student his or her diploma. Humboldt City School’s Emily Burleson took pictures of each student receiving their diploma, followed by individual pictures of each student taken by HHS teacher Mike Adams.
As each student made their way back to their seat, senior Jai’Den Patrick took the stage and led her fellow classmate in the singing of the HJSHS Alma Mater.
With the ceremony complete, senior tossed their caps into the air, celebrating this milestone in their lives.
It may have been a hot, muggy evening for graduation, but these students persevered much more than most senior classes before them due to the COVID pandemic. Not only did they persevere, they did with dignity, pride and topped it off with a graduation ceremony unlike any other.
Congratulations to the Humboldt High School Class of 2020.