2020 graduation

Last year’s graduation for the Class of 2020 was a drive-through commencement due to the COVID pandemic. While COVID still looms a year later, the Class of 2021 will be returning to normalcy as they walk across the stage this Friday to receive their diplomas.

The stage is set for the Class of 2021 to cross the finish line on their high school careers. Graduation for the latest set of Wildcats is set for 7:30 p.m. next Friday, May 14, at Wilkins Stadium.

THS Principal Jason Quick said graduation will look more normal, though it will still have a few slight modifications.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced school officials last year to come up with an alternative form of commencement, as case numbers in the area spiked. Several schools postponed graduation plans or sought alternative measures in order to give students the traditional send-off while maintaining the health and safety of all students, their families and school staff.

THS ended up hosting a drive-through graduation ceremony in the stadium, with graduates’ parents shuttling their students around the high school track to pick up their diplomas underneath an open-air tent on the football field.

This year; however, Quick said the plan is to hold a traditional, in-person ceremony for the Class of 2021.

“We looked at several options and believe this ceremony has designs that will keep our attendees safe and healthy,” he told The News.

While graduation will happen in the football stadium, which typically holds scores of spectators, the graduates will receive tickets for up to 12 family members and friends in order to manage capacity.

“Based on these numbers, the stadium venue will be able to provide adequate spacing for all,” Quick said.

Plans are still being formulated for the commencement program, but Quick said school staff is planning to acknowledge the challenges students, faculty and staff have faced over the last year.

Staff Writer

Erin McCullough has won awards for her news reporting, community lifestyles and education reporting in the three years she's been a journalist. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and currently lives in Tullahoma with her cat, Luna.

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