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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.

Cases: 307836

Reported Deaths: 7119
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20784248
Hinds19894408
Harrison17493302
Rankin13316275
Jackson13099243
Madison9896210
Lee9859169
Jones8293160
Forrest7523146
Lauderdale7189237
Lowndes6265144
Lamar610784
Lafayette6028117
Washington5280132
Bolivar4770129
Oktibbeha455297
Panola4442103
Pearl River4420139
Warren4281118
Marshall4273100
Pontotoc416472
Monroe4057132
Union403775
Neshoba3988176
Lincoln3871108
Hancock372185
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329389
Tate322781
Pike3181104
Scott310572
Yazoo304368
Alcorn297764
Itawamba296876
Copiah293065
Coahoma289677
Simpson287484
Tippah284868
Prentiss275659
Marion265979
Wayne261341
Leake261173
Grenada254982
Covington254580
Adams245982
Newton244859
George237847
Winston225981
Tishomingo222067
Jasper219748
Attala213373
Chickasaw204857
Holmes186471
Clay182454
Stone179131
Clarke176876
Tallahatchie175540
Calhoun163230
Yalobusha158836
Smith158634
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126323
Noxubee125933
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
Amite120141
Webster113432
Jefferson Davis105432
Tunica102525
Claiborne101330
Benton97225
Kemper95226
Humphreys94332
Franklin81923
Quitman78916
Choctaw72817
Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 519071

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754131487
Mobile37774798
Madison33868494
Tuscaloosa25283443
Montgomery23969565
Shelby23112238
Baldwin20638300
Lee15524165
Calhoun14286311
Morgan14140268
Etowah13664345
Marshall11957219
Houston10383278
Elmore9994200
Limestone9814147
Cullman9475188
St. Clair9429234
Lauderdale9218227
DeKalb8747181
Talladega8060171
Walker7092275
Jackson6755110
Autauga6727103
Blount6488135
Colbert6205130
Coffee5401112
Dale4768110
Russell428938
Franklin419982
Chilton4083109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3893146
Escambia388074
Dallas3527149
Chambers3500122
Clarke346360
Marion3066100
Pike305875
Lawrence295395
Winston272372
Bibb256458
Marengo248661
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224955
Hale218775
Butler212366
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176941
Monroe171540
Washington164038
Macon154848
Clay149454
Crenshaw149357
Cleburne146041
Lamar139334
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99328
Greene90734
Choctaw58724
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Clouds increase a bit more on Tuesday, though there will still be plenty of sunshine at times. Temperatures will remain very warm. An isolated sprinkle or shower is possible later in the day, though rain chances are much more likely into Wednesday as a cold front passes.
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