‘Drive-through’ ceremony set

Safe Grad Committee working to honor this year’s graduating class

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

‘Drive-through’ ceremony setAfter weeks of monitoring state directives regarding COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings, Sierra Sands Unified School District announced that any option for even a modified assembly has been ruled out.

“While operating within the latest and foreseeable state and county guidelines, our graduation committee has worked tirelessly to find a way to go beyond a virtual graduation,” said Dr. David Ostash, SSUSD superintendent. “We have landed on the best possible plan, which will be a blend of virtual and personal.”

On Friday, May 29, seniors are invited to wear their caps and gowns to receive diplomas, by automobile, at Burroughs High School at a designated times between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Each car may carry the graduating senior, along with members of the family, entering the campus through the staff parking lot. Diplomas will be distributed in front of the school sign on the east side of campus, near the flag pole.

The event will be streamed live so that spectators can watch remotely. Graduates only will be permitted to exit the vehicles and must adhere to all state and county distancing guidelines. Professional photographs will be taken.

More detailed information will be sent to seniors and their families on May 22, said Ostash.

“We recognize there are strong feelings associated with the unanticipated changes we are facing in so many areas of our lives, not least of which, this milestone event for the accomplishments of our well-deserving seniors,” said Ostash.

“It is our sincere hope that everyone rallies around this event in ways that ensure a positively memorable experience.”

One such group is the Committee for Safe Graduation — which traditionally plans and executes a party for graduating seniors from Burroughs, Mesquite, CHER, Opportunities for Learning, Immanuel and Trona schools.

“As you all know, this has been a very different year for our seniors,” said Stephanie Hudson, this year’s chair. “We are working hard to let them all know that, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the [committee] will be celebrating their accomplishments even if we can’t throw them an all-night bash.”

Hudson said that while the committee had gotten some support this year, it also had to dip into the organization’s savings account to ensure that each of the 405 seniors in the region could receive a $15 Amazon gift card, 2020 graduation key chain and entry into a drawing for 250 prizes worth a total of $5,000.

In addition, 2020 grads will be allowed to attend next year’s all-night bash for free.

“We want to thank those who have already made such generous contributions, but also to reach out to those of you who might be looking for a way to contribute to our very worthwhile event,” said Hudson.

If you would like to contribute, call Hudson at 760-977-0378.

Story First Published: 2020-05-15