Drive-through diploma days

BHS holds staggered ‘graduation’ ceremony on campus Friday

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Drive-through diploma daysAs losses of life and livelihood are calculated during the COVID-19 pandemic, families of graduating seniors wistfully add to that list their moment to celebrate the culmination of a 13-year academic career for hundreds of local students.

“Upon reflecting on all the unexpected change this spring, one thing that won’t change are the feelings associated with middle-school promotion — and especially high-school graduation,” said Dr. David Ostash, superintendent of Sierra Sands Unified School District.

“While the ceremony is different, the celebration is every bit as heartfelt and uplifting.”

School teachers, administrators and parents banded together, along with supportive community members, to make their progressing students feel as special as possible. Although most schools were limited to drive-through promotion ceremonies this week, many carried away certificates and other tokens of their achievements.

Monroe and Murray middle schools, along with Mesquite High School, held their drive-through distributions earlier this week.

Burroughs High School will hold its county-and-state-approved ceremony Friday, offering students a brief moment of celebration under modified circumstances. Families have been assigned specific windows of time (based on last name) to drive through campus so that students can accept diplomas.

A dress code sent home to students encouraged polished attire for both boys and girls. Only graduates will be permitted to exit the car to allow a professional photo and diploma presentation. The ceremony will be live streamed for extended family and friends.

Drivers are instructed to proceed to P Hall, where a member of the Safe Grad Committee will distribute swag to seniors.

“It would be insensitive not to acknowledge that there is loss during the pandemic, but it would be unwise not to seek out silver linings and to reach for new success as our future leaders move into adulthood,” said Ostash.

“While our graduates are faced with a modified graduation ceremony because the pandemic temporarily changed the world, we should remember that our graduates’ past, current, and future successes are not a temporary feature of their lives. Our graduates’ successes are a result of a long term commitment that adapts to any and all challenges.”

Pictured: Monroe Principal John Cosner presents Nash Berry his promotion certificate, while a family member captures the moment. — Photo by Laura Austin

Story First Published: 2020-05-29