Seniors Attend Drive-Through Cap and Gown Pickup

Srilekha Cherukuvada, Dreamcatcher Editor in Chief

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  • Principal Dr. Mario Acosta poses for a picture in front of the cap and gown pickup area.

  • Other parents, administrators, teachers, and counselors gather to cheer on the seniors.

  • The outside area is decorated with signs to celebrate the Class of 2020.

  • Assistant Principal Jesica Cuellar waves at a senior in their car.

  • Staff members aid in directing traffic in the drive-through area.

  • Staff members direct traffic and help hand out caps and gowns.

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In the midst of a global pandemic that has turned their last year of high school and all its attendant rituals upside down, seniors gathered for a drive-through cap and gown pickup on Thursday, May 7 from 2 to 5 p.m. With staff wearing protective burnt-orange masks, they safely handed caps and gowns to the seniors in their cars.

“I thought the pickup was very well organized. It was so great to see all my teachers from the last four years supporting me, even in these crazy times,” Sloka Chandrasekaran ‘20 said. “As far as the graduation ceremony goes, it really means a lot that the faculty and staff are doing everything they can to make sure we feel celebrated and I’m glad the senior class can still be recognized for the last four years in person.”

Teachers, administrators, and counselors were there with signs and noisemakers, cheering on the seniors for their achievements. There was also a DJ and music for everyone to enjoy. Dr. Mario Acosta congratulated seniors as they drove through as well.

“The atmosphere was festive and fun. I actually overheard some teachers saying they preferred this parade-type activity to a regular graduation ceremony because it wasn’t so stuffy,” Journalism teacher Lanie Catuogno said. “All of the teachers and staff were happy to see each other as well as the students, even if from a safe distance.”

Everyone was practicing social distancing, but trying their best to celebrate the seniors and congratulate them as they came through. Teachers rang cowbells, blew air horns, and waved posters, especially when a graduate they knew personally came through the line.

“I started to cry seeing my teachers and realize how far I’ve come,” Zac DeLane ‘20 said. “It was super special to see everyone come together to support the senior class. I really appreciate the stuff done for putting on the event.”

To further celebrate the seniors and their achievements, there will be a commencement walk ceremony held on May 22 at the Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex. Moreover, as announced last month, on June 5 at 7 p.m., there will be a virtual graduation experience.