TALLAHASSEE, Fla. WTXL — Leon County Students, parents, and even district administrators can hardly hide their excitement to participate in near-traditional graduation ceremonies this year. Concerns over COVID safety prompted drive-in graduation ceremonies last year.
"Last year, that's all we heard, 'my baby can't walk across the stage, I...' You know, that type of thing, so we're elated," said Leon County Schools assistant principal Dr. Michelle Gayle.
Gayle shares the sentiment with Leon High School parent Tia Walton-Walker.
"I'm excited. I'm ecstatic," said Walker. "Because they have worked so hard, they've followed all the rules, they've done such a great job, so this is a great way for them to celebrate all of their hard work."
Her son, Isaiah Ramsey will join roughly 3,000 seniors in taking the milestone walk across the stage between June 2nd and June 12.
"I've been looking forward to this for a while, and a lot of my friends have too,"said Ramsey.
Most of the ceremonies will take place at Gene Cox stadium, with six guests allowed per student.
"The six guests, they will be seated together," says Dr. Gayle. "The next group of guests, if you will, they will be six feet apart from the other guests and, of course, a row behind."
The district is providing special masks for each of the graduates and going to great lengths to ensure COVID safety by following CDC recommendations, and working with the health department.
"We want families to feel good about this, these graduations that are taking place and that their graduate as well as their family are going to be safe," Dr. Gayle said.
Leon Virtual School students will be the first to take the stage at Lawton Chiles High School Wednesday night at 6:30.