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Leon County Schools begins outdoor graduation ceremonies

Posted at 11:04 PM, Jun 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-08 00:18:43-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Friends and family of SAIL high school’s 89 graduates excited to share in celebrating the class of 2021.

At six guests per graduate, loved ones filled the stands, letting nothing stop them from waving at their grads in love and admiration.

"She knows how proud how very very proud of her I am," says Stephanie Matthews, mother of Sail High School Valedictorian Dominiqua Ivey.

"I am so proud of Isidro. He has pushed through this current pandemic that we're in, and I am elated that he is finally done," said Isidro Palmer's mother Alina Duncan.

It’s the closest Leon County Schools has come to a normal graduation ceremony since the start of the pandemic.
Last year, drive-in graduations were held to keep people safe in the middle of the pandemic. Superintendent Rocky Hanna vowed to get back closer to normal this year.

"This only happens once for a kid," said Hanna. "They only get to graduate from high school once, but to have an experience that they'll remember and carry with them other than the memories from the pandemic is our objective."

The district, preserving a bit of pandemic graduation fan-fare by setting off fireworks just like they did last year.

"It could rain on my head, we still gone turn up for'em," said graduate supporter Gabrielle Knight.

Outdoor graduation celebrations will continue through the week with nearly 500 graduates from Lawton Chiles Tuesday and another 500 from Lincoln High Wednesday.

Superintendent Hanna says the district will do their best to hold outdoor ceremonies on the night they are scheduled. In case of bad weather, they are prepared to host additional ceremonies Sunday.