Giving graduates something to remember

Messenger photos by Dedra Cordle
It was a graduation ceremony like no other: On May 23, hundreds of seniors at each of the four high schools in the South-Western City Schools District participated in a drive-thru ceremony where they were able to don their caps and gowns, walk across a stage to pick up their diploma covers and take photographs to commemorate their achievement. Though it was unlike traditional ceremonies due to state mandated crowd restrictions to slow the spread of a novel coronavirus, the graduating class of 2020 said they were thankful a modified event was held. Here, Franklin Heights student Rhiannon Hubbard poses by her family’s decked out truck. Hubbard, who will be attending The Ohio State University in the fall, was one of the student leaders who worked with the district and state boards of health and education to put together the drive-thru ceremony.
National Honor Society student Alani Espinal gets a brief hug from guidance counselor Katie Emswiler as she collects her diploma cover. Emswiler said the ceremony was bittersweet as she was not able to congratulate the entire Falcons graduating class. “I’ve had them since they were freshman,” she said. “They are like my babies.”
The parents of Brandon Green were able to find a large 2020 cap to adorn the roof of their vehicle.
Seniors were welcomed to the ceremony with posters and banners such as this “Way 2 Go” sign.
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