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High school seniors celebrate accomplishment at curbside pickups

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Updated: May. 6, 2021 at 7:14 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Senior year in high school is one typically full of big milestones, memorable experiences, and lifelong friendships.

But for the class of 2021, those all were shifted from the pandemic.

The high school experience has been altered for the past 14 months, but Savannah-Chatham leaders wanted to send them off for graduation with a bang.

After a year that was anything but normal, it was a day of celebration for Savannah High students.

Not only did they get their cap and gowns, but a lot of praise as well.

More than 125 students will graduate on May 18. They describe the year as challenging and disappointing, but today they were jumping for joy—while others were dancing to see all their hard work pay off as they are one step closer to their diploma.

“I feel good to be a graduate. I am very relieved. I don’t have to deal with high school anymore and now I am off to bigger and better things,” Savannah High senior Khia Stafford said.

For some students like the Whites, it took a lot to get to graduation, but they are grateful to be here and for the support they have gotten from family at home with remote learning and back at Savannah High.

It’s clear that support echoes from the coaches to the school officers and more, pushing these seniors on to their next chapter ready to tackle anything.

Savannah High School graduates celebrated at curbside graduation celebration
Savannah High School graduates celebrated at curbside graduation celebration(WTOC)

Curbside pickups and celebrations were held all over the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System on multiple days this week.

Thousands of SCCPSS seniors are just weeks away from graduation.

“I think everyone is getting what we call graduation fever and so they’ve been really excited and it’s been really positive. We’ve also gotten some emails and communication just about being thankful that we were able to do something in person this year and acknowledge their accomplishment,” said Bernadette Ball-Oliver, Associate Superintendent for Secondary Schools, SCCPSS.

Associate Superintendent for Secondary Schools Bernadette Ball-Oliver says the curbside celebrations are proof of just how excited students and families are.

All high school graduations will be held at T.A. Wright Stadium at Savannah State University.

“I think everyone is getting what we call graduation fever and so they’ve been really excited and it’s been really positive. We’ve also gotten some emails and communication just about being thankful that we were able to do something in person this year and acknowledge their accomplishment.”

Ball-Oliver says masks are required, all students and guests will go through COVID-19 screening, and have their temperature checked.

She also says each student has received four guest tickets. 2020 graduates will also be able to participate in a Rainbow Ceremony May 21st to celebrate their accomplishments.

“We did say on last year that if we found it possible to do something for them this year we would do so.”

Ball-Oliver says every department at the district pitched in to make in person graduation happen.

Graduation ceremonies begin May 17.

Dr. Ball-Oliver says in case of rain, ceremonies will be held at Tiger Arena.

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