MORAVIA — Ronda and George Walker said they were happy they were about to see their daughter Logan graduate from Moravia High School Friday, but the circumstances were far from normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Walkers said they were impressed with how well Logan, 18, dealt with distance learning since the school had been closed since March due to the outbreak, especially since she balanced it with working as a nursing assistant.
"She's going to succeed, I know she will," Ronda said. "It's just another step in getting there."
The graduation was split into two parts: One with the families where they watched their graduates receive their diplomas, and a second part on a different field on school grounds only for the graduates where they could hear the various speeches. People were invited to watch the second part of the event through Facebook Live.
At the first half, pairs of guests were placed together with a white box drawn around them, sectioned away from the other guests to allow for social distancing. Some wore face masks, while others did not. Others gathered at a nearby fence to watch the proceedings. Superintendent John Birmingham said the district worked hard to craft the best ceremony possible given the circumstances.
He said that while the situation wasn't ideal, he was proud of Moravia for coming together "to do the best for our kids, and that's a theme in this community."
Groups of 10 graduates were brought close to the stage, with each student called up separately once the last had left. Every student was encouraged to take their face mask off to get their photo taken with their diploma. Birmingham said "Great job," congratulations" or something similar to each student on the stage.
Graduate Bradley Bonnet danced while he waited to hear his name called, confidently strutting to the stage to receive his diploma.
Kim Stockton got up from her designated spot to take pictures of her twins, Jacob and Kylee, when they separately got their diplomas. Her shout of "Look over here, son!" soared through the crowd to get Jacob's attention to snap a photo of him.
Jacob and Kylee were challenged by the lack of structure that came with doing school work from home, Kim said, but they got through it.
"I want to puke because I'm so excited and nervous for their next adventure," Kim said. "It's amazing and I want to cry because they're grown."
Staff writer Kelly Rocheleau can be reached at (315) 282-2243 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @KellyRocheleau.
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