An estimated 300 diplomas were handed out Friday morning to the Douglas High School Class of 2020 in a “drive thru” graduation ceremony at Douglas High School.
While the traditional Pomp and Circumstance played in the background, each senior was announced and then drove up to the table in their decorated vehicle, where they were greeted by DUSD Superintendent Ana Samaniego and Principal Randy Walker who presented the diplomas. Some seniors shed tears as they received their sheepskins while others blasted their horns. The event signaled the end of their high school career that was culminated by a global pandemic that crashed most senior traditions and events.
“These students deserve so much more,” DUSD board president Ray Borane said. “But I hope everybody understands that considering the circumstances, this district is trying to do the best it can considering all the different variables we are dealing with right now. We understand this is not what was expected but this is the least we can do now. We hope at a future date we can do something more. We want to do the best we can for these seniors right now.”
Senior Andrea Borbon said she is saddened by the circumstances but understands.
“I think this represents a good closure to my high school career,” she said. “I feel that with all that’s going on right now, this is the best we can do. We all would have liked to have had our regular graduation ceremony but I understand the importance of keeping everyone safe.”
She acknowledged this is one memorable graduation.
“It’s been a rough last quarter,” she said. “But we got through it.”
Borbon is headed to Arizona State University where she will major in material science and engineering.
Samaniego offered her congratulations to the Class of 2020.
“We are extremely proud of them and knowing this is not the typical ceremony, we still wanted to make it special and something they could look forward to,” she said. “I think many of us are looking forward to the June 20 ceremony if at all possible.”
Walker announced that on Friday, May 22, on what would have been graduation night for the DHS, the lights at Armando De Lucas Stadium will be turned out and there will be some kind of powerpoint presentation played on a screen showing the photos of all the seniors.
A walk-through graduation ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, June 20, if possible, at a time to be determined. That ceremony will include the speeches of the valedictorians and salutatorian.