Seniors graduate creatively during the health crisis

The pandemic may have delayed graduation, but it didn’t stop it.

Posted: Jul 31, 2020 1:25 AM
Updated: Jul 31, 2020 9:10 AM

AMORY, Miss. (WTVA) -- The pandemic may have delayed graduation, but it didn’t stop it.

Seniors at Amory High School were thrilled to have the opportunity to end this chapter of their lives in person. They did just that on Thursday in the school’s auditorium. For one student and his family, it was a night they didn’t think they would get to have.

“We’re finally glad to see it, as it’s been dragged out and everything, but I know that they’ve done the best they can do,” graduating senior Jake Kimbrough said.

For his grandparents, this night was special, indeed.

“He’s our only grandson, and we’re proud of him,” Kimbrough’s grandfather Mark Tucker said.

His grandmother Angie Tucker said her family is glad to see the ceremony finally come together.

“We’ve been waiting on it, but the faculty and the principal, they have worked really, really hard on getting it together,” she said.

“He’s excited to be getting on with it, I think,” Mark Tucker said.

School leaders were waiting for a good time to have graduation when the pandemic would settle down. They decided it was best to go ahead and have it before it got too far into the new school year.

Jake Kimbrough’s father said the date kept changing for a while.

“They were worried, they kept pushing it back and changing it, but they’re going to make it happen tonight,” He said.

He added that this ceremony is giving his son closure.

“He wanted to go back to school and finish it with all of his friends and his buddies and everything, but this is a little bit of winding it down for him,” he said.

For the ceremony, graduates and families waited in their cars and tuned their radios to 87.9. when they heard their names, they went to the door and waited.

One group at a time, families and their graduates entered the auditorium. Families got to see their seniors walk across the stage to get their diplomas and celebrate their big day. When that graduate and family exited out the opposite side of the auditorium, another came in.

Kimbrough said his friends are all excited to be moving on now.

“We’ve been talking about it, and everybody’s just as anxious and ready to go on to the next chapter.”

Kimbrough got a fishing scholarship to Blue Mountain College. He’s with the Youth Anglers.

“Go Blue Mountain," he said with a laugh.

Valedictorian Emily McFatter said she’s grateful the class had this final night together.

“It means so much. I truly didn’t think we’d get a graduation night, but I’m so glad we’re here,” she said.

Organizers said 90 students graduated at Amory High on Thursday. Organizers separated students into three time slots, with 30 students graduating at 6:00 P.M., 30 graduating at 7:00, and the last 30 graduating at 8:00.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 64400

Reported Deaths: 1825
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5416112
DeSoto347227
Madison236360
Harrison228735
Rankin220231
Jackson215641
Jones182857
Forrest170155
Washington154835
Lauderdale137990
Lee129732
Neshoba126490
Lamar117713
Oktibbeha107737
Lowndes102333
Bolivar101032
Warren99531
Scott97820
Panola96012
Sunflower94223
Copiah92928
Lafayette90714
Leflore88261
Pike86133
Holmes85948
Grenada81921
Yazoo80312
Lincoln78741
Pontotoc7808
Leake77625
Simpson76730
Wayne74921
Monroe73151
Coahoma68410
Tate68327
Marion63419
Marshall6169
Covington60313
Adams59625
Winston59315
Union55215
George5454
Newton53011
Pearl River51537
Tallahatchie51210
Attala51024
Walthall48219
Chickasaw43819
Noxubee43811
Claiborne39913
Calhoun3929
Smith38913
Clay38014
Jasper3799
Alcorn3775
Prentiss3699
Hancock34914
Tishomingo3445
Itawamba32310
Clarke32225
Tippah32013
Tunica3076
Yalobusha30410
Lawrence3027
Montgomery3023
Humphreys28111
Carroll24811
Quitman2381
Greene23011
Kemper22715
Jefferson Davis2256
Perry2207
Amite2176
Webster21112
Jefferson1936
Wilkinson19313
Sharkey1913
Stone1603
Choctaw1294
Benton1280
Franklin1152
Issaquena241
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 91776

Reported Deaths: 1639
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson12186230
Mobile9269204
Montgomery6350148
Madison512227
Tuscaloosa400269
Baldwin332223
Shelby311932
Marshall300134
Unassigned287856
Lee255442
Morgan227015
Etowah196728
DeKalb172113
Elmore163337
Calhoun162713
Walker147964
Houston133412
Dallas129823
Russell12672
St. Clair125214
Limestone122713
Franklin121520
Cullman117112
Colbert112213
Lauderdale111113
Autauga103021
Escambia98115
Talladega94613
Jackson8904
Chambers83238
Tallapoosa82778
Dale79823
Butler75435
Blount7453
Chilton7386
Coffee7255
Covington71620
Pike6727
Barbour5645
Lowndes56124
Marion54724
Marengo52914
Clarke4919
Hale45926
Bullock44411
Winston43511
Perry4324
Wilcox41110
Monroe3964
Randolph39210
Bibb3844
Pickens3769
Conecuh37310
Sumter36018
Lawrence3251
Macon31613
Washington31512
Crenshaw3073
Choctaw27612
Cherokee2497
Greene24711
Henry2473
Geneva2430
Clay2255
Lamar2052
Fayette1785
Cleburne1211
Coosa952
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