Next month, Lake County’s seniors will finally march across the stage in their caps and gowns and receive the graduation recognition they have eagerly awaited.
All of the ceremonies, originally planned for May, were postponed and revamped with COVID-19 safety guidelines in mind.
To minimize the number of people physically on stage at any one time, speeches from students and administrators will be pre-recorded for viewing the day of the ceremony on large screens and/or on their personal devices. As students’ names are called, they will walk across the stage and be greeted by only one or two administrators, and they will be advised not to shake hands as they have their pictures taken.
Parents and other family members will remain in their cars, able to watch their senior walk across the stage and receive his or her diploma and other awards. Most likely, cars will be decorated for their graduates and there will be plenty of posters, pom-poms and other decorations to make the event as festive as possible.
“We are still in Phase I of reopening Florida. Even if we move into Phase II or Phase III by the time graduations take place, recommendations for social distancing and limits on large gatherings are expected to still apply,” said Superintendent Diane Kornegay. “While I know that this is not the ceremony that any of us had hoped for, we've tried to think outside of the box and get creative to find a way to make sure every graduate has the opportunity to walk across the stage and their families able to share the experience with them.”
The ceremonies will be on the campuses with the exception of Mount Dora High School, Eustis High School and Leesburg High School. Mount Dora will have its graduation at Renningers Twin Markets in Mount Dora. In Eustis and Leesburg, cars will parade through downtown streets with students emerging at the stage and parents positioned to take photos from the cars. A similar set-up is planned in Umatilla, where the parade will take place around the track. For East Ridge, Lake Minneola, Mount Dora, South Lake and Tavares high schools, cars will park drive-in-theater style as students walk across the stage.
local graduation dates
Mount Dora High: Thurs., June 11, 9 a.m., Renningers Market Eustis High:Fri, June 12, 6 p.m., downtown Eustis parade Umatilla High: Fri., June 12, 9 a.m., UHS track parade Tavares High:Sat., June 13, 9 a.m., THS practice field Leesburg High:Sat., June 13, 9 a.m., downtown Leesburg parade
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