Joplin High School seniors get to walk across stage in socially distanced graduation

Though the seats were empty...and it was executed differently than they hoped...Joplin High School seniors finally got an in person graduation.
Jhs Graduation

JOPLIN, Mo. – Though the seats were empty…and it was executed differently than they hoped…Joplin High School seniors finally got an in person graduation.

“The virtual one was great but it’s good to see faces and actually walk across the stage and feel accomplished, because you felt like you made it but you didn’t really feel like it because you couldn’t put on your cap and gown and walk across the stage” said graduating senior Taylor Dishman.

With COVID-19 cutting the school year short…graduation was uncertain, but with social distancing and safety guidelines in place…officials were able to put their plan into motion.

“What their plan is, is to move us in as fast as possible and so they have plans in place to help us more so I feel like that’s a really good thing to have and they’re doing the best they can do so I’d rather they try than not try” added Dishman.

For Senior Rosie Buckner even though an in person ceremony meant more people around each other…she wasn’t worried about the virus.

“I’m trying my best to be sanitary but overall I trust God to protect me so I’m good.”

And she was just excited to be starting a new chapter in her life.

“It’s not the graduation we hoped for but it’s really nice to have something, to get to walk across the stage so I’m happy about that.”

Unforeseen circumstances didn’t stop officials from wanting to give these students the graduation they earned.

“As we’ve always said graduating from high school, they’re some of those milestones in your life…so to not have those experiences broke our hearts, so we wanted to do absolutely everything we could to make it a live graduation of some sort, we couldn’t get a lot of people together in a small area but this is a compromise so we’re excited to be able to do this” said Joplin High School principal, Stephen Gilbreth.

The Joplin class of 2020 had 503 graduates.