WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)–Covid-19 has made school administrators get creative when it comes to graduation ceremonies over the last few weeks. Monday, was the beginning of graduation for high schools in New Hanover County.
The Class of 2020 at Hoggard High School has had anything but a normal senior year. The coronavirus cut their final semester of school short and it looked like it was going to do the same to their graduation.
In the end the school district decided they would hold a drive-in ceremony. It wasn’t what the graduation senior envisioned, but they say something is better than nothing.
“Obviously it’s not ideal, but at least we get something instead of nothing,”says Class of 2020 graduate Andrew Chance Courtney. “We could of just gotten it in the mail, but the county pushed for us to at least have something.”
The graduating seniors say the lessons they’ve learned over the past couple of months is something they will always carry with them long after high school.
“I think just like not taking anything for granted and really appreciating all the opportunities that come my way,”said Hoggard High School graduate Aubrey Ella Hyldahl. “Especially the traditions that we didn’t maybe get this year and just making sure that I really appreciate them in college.”
The Hoggard High Class of 2020 now have diplomas in their hands, as it’s onto the next step in life for the graduates. They say it’s a step that brings a wide range of emotions.
“I’m nervous, but I’m excited to see what’s going to happen,”said Viking graduate Grace Howell. Ultimately I’m just excited and nervous.”
The Hoggard graduates say when they look back on this day years down the road they will be grateful. Grateful to see their classmates one final time, grateful to walk across that stage as their name is called.
“Just really glad that we got to do anything, I was not expecting anything to be honest,”says Hyldahl. So, I was just glad to do something.”
The county’s three other high schools will have ceremonies at the Cape Fear Community College-North Campus over the next three days.