Whittell seniors celebrate graduation with parade, socially distant ceremony (Gallery) | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Whittell seniors celebrate graduation with parade, socially distant ceremony (Gallery)

ZEPHYR COVE, Nev. — Cheers and honks celebrated George Whittell High School seniors as they drove in procession to their graduation ceremony.

The 21 seniors met at Kahle Community Park and were escorted down U.S. Highway 50 by Douglas County Sheriff officers.

The seniors and family members were directed to park their cars in the Whittell parking facing the stage.

Happy students sat on the hoods of their car and yelled at each other across the parking lot.

Even with all the uncertainty the students faced this year, the feeling of happiness and celebration could still be felt in the air at their unusual graduation ceremony.

“It means a lot to me that we could have something instead of nothing,” said Lexie White, who walked in the graduation ceremony. She added that the procession was a lot more fun than just driving to the ceremony.

Once the cars were parked, GWHS principal Shawn Lear asked students to stand outside of his car while he gave a short speech. The valedictorian and salutatorian speeches which would normally be given at the ceremony were recorded and uploaded to youtube.

Students were then asked to come up in two groups and receive their diplomas. Staff wore masks and hand sanitizer stations were placed on each side of the stage.

The students were escorted to the stadium for a socially distanced group photo while family were able to listen to prerecorded speeches.

Lear said he can’t take credit for the ceremony idea, Douglas High School and other schools have done similar ceremonies.

“I think it’s a good way to end on a high note,” Lear said. “It is not the same but hopefully it still allows them to celebrate.”

Lear said people seemed to enjoy the day more than they thought they would and he might consider doing the procession again next year.

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