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Thomas County Central honors graduating class with first outdoor ceremony

Posted at 6:32 PM, Jun 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-05 18:32:43-04

THOMAS COUNTY, Ga. (WTXL) — Many high schools throughout the country haven't been able to hold a traditional graduation for their seniors.

Thomas County Central is making sure their graduating seniors have the ceremony they deserve.

The principal of Thomas County Central, Trista Jones, has been with the high school for 28 years and this is her first graduating class to have a ceremony outside.

"The idea came from a place of wanting to keep everybody safe," said Jones.

Jones says they wouldn't have been able to fit the entire class of 2020 inside the school's gym. To keep the seniors together, they decided on the football field at the Jackets Nest.

"They've already lost a lot," Jones said. "And I just think it would be really sad for portions of the class to be able to graduate together. They're not going to be able to see each other again, all be together at one time again."

Graduates will be seated six feet apart while their families will be grouped together and spaced away from each other.

Graduating senior Bryce Barwick is thankful her class gets to walk across a stage.

"We haven't really gotten to see each other, so this is a way we get to see each other again and walk across the stage," said Barwick.

"As a mom, we've had a lot of emotions over the way the year has ended," said Leigh Barwick, Bryce's mother. "I know it's taken a lot of time and effort to put this together. So on behalf of all of the parents and all of the students we want to say thank you."

The Jacket's ceremony will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning.