CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – School is out for the summer and thousands of seniors are now officially high school graduates, after a school year that was anything but ordinary.
The COVID-19 pandemic meant many students’ in-school experience was cut short and graduation was no exception. On Monday night, nearly a dozen Charleston County School District (CCSD) high schools held virtual graduation ceremonies, streamed online via YouTube.
Kylie Seay, a newly minted graduate of James Island Charter High School, says while it wasn’t the graduation she thought she would have, it was nice to come back together, even if it was virtually:
“It was good to hear a few of the voices that we haven’t heard in months.”Kylie Seay, CCSD graduate
Despite obvious differences, many aspects remained the same, like the speeches by school leaders and Valedictorians. Teachers say while it’s a different high school graduation, they are happy they still get to honor their students:
“It is a little bittersweet, we want to give all of our kids all of, you know, the pomp and the circumstance, and everything that we can, unfortunately, world pandemics have kind of changed the way we have to do this, I am excited that we have been working really hard to kind of give them some sort of celebration.”Melissa Stewart, West Ashley High School Teacher
CCSD says while they are glad they can offer the virtual experience, they are happy many schools will also be hosting versions of in-person ceremonies as well:
“The good thing is that while the virtual ceremonies will take place on Monday, there will also be another opportunity for students to receive their diplomas in person, with their families.”Andy Pruitt, CCSD
“We will probably take pictures before and then maybe some after, and then I think we are all going to hang out that night.”Kylie Seay, CCSD graduate
Kylie says while she is excited to take the next step, it’s bittersweet knowing she will not be in class anymore with friends she has known for years.