High school graduation is a tradition for students to celebrate the completion of classes. Every high school in Wesley Chapel holds its graduation ceremonies at the Yuengling Center, formerly known as the University of South Florida Sun Dome in Tampa. Friends and family gather there every year to honor the students.
The seniors had their excursion to Universal Studios in Orlando – Grad Bash, prom and senior breakfast canceled, and graduation was to be their last event. However, because of the wide spread of COVID-19, Pasco County schools have decided to celebrate through a virtual graduation.
Wiregrass Ranch High School is an overpopulated high school in the area with more than 500 seniors who will participate in this ceremony. The graduation will still be held on the day of their original graduation, June 4, but now in the comfort of their own homes.
“The at-home graduation helps because at least it’s something, but it’s definitely not the same as graduating in person,” says Wiregrass Ranch High School senior Lauren Ifill. “It still makes me sad, but it’s what has to be done.”
Wiregrass administrators say they still hope to give students an opportunity for that graduation experience, so they’re hoping to reschedule a real graduation for August. Students will receive their cap and gown on May 6, so they have the opportunity to take pictures and have it as a keepsake.
“I’m fine with the graduation being moved to August as long as I am able to walk across the stage,” says Hannah Peterson, a graduating senior at Wiregrass Ranch High School.
But, if things don’t go as planned, the virtual graduation will conclude the year for class of 2020.
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