COLORADO SPRINGS — Friday marked a graduation ceremony for the books.
“This is completely unique for us,” said Walt Cooper, Superintendent of Cheyenne Mountain School District.
Cheyenne Mountain High School modified their ceremony to allow for social distancing.
It’s a new requirement after the coronavirus pandemic forced schools to close early.
“El Paso County gave us very clear and direct guidance on what the rules were. We were able to use that guidance to develop a protocol that our high school team put together, just a tremendous plan to make sure that our kids got the send-off they deserved,” Cooper said.
Families watched online as each senior walked up to get their diploma.
“That was definitely the hardest part because my mom and sisters were at home, my dad was here for technology stuff. But it was weird not to have people cheering us on, but we know that they were all there watching us virtually,” said Grace Babcock, who graduated Friday.
“We’ve been with each other this whole time, so it was cool for us to have it all together and not online,” said Javonte Johnson, who also graduated Friday.
The graduating seniors say it was an indescribable feeling to be back on campus one last time.
“My dad graduated from Cheyenne on this field, so it was really cool to come back to where he was for his graduation, and to be in a place that we’ve called home for the past four years. It’s been really great to be back with our family and our community at this school,” said Sarah Parker, another graduate.
“Being able to create this environment and honor that for them, it’s been a labor of love. And today the expression on their faces was extremely worth all of the work,” said Carrie Brenner, Principal of Cheyenne Mountain High School.
Although the graduation was far from traditional, it’ll definitely be memorable.
“It was like, an amazing pause, and kind of a really cool reset and also just like, super memorable. Like, no graduation has ever been like this before. So, it’s definitely a part of making history,” Babcock said.
“We’ve proven that we can get through this and we’re still as strong a community,” Parker said.