By Mackenzie Meaney
Special to the Voice
A little rain was not enough to dampen the spirits of West Haven High School.
On Monday, June 29, half of the class of 2020 gathered in the parking lot on the side of the school to celebrate all of their accomplishments. It was their day to shine.
After having a school year get cut short due to COVID-19, and having senior students miss out on sports seasons, musicals, or just the time spent in the classrooms finishing out high school, the West Haven community was able to give the graduates a proper send off — or at least, as proper as it could be given the circumstances.
“Everyone has really come together to try and make this work for the kids,” Principal Dana Parades said of the evening. “We’re just hurt that we can’t do this the right way and give them what they deserve, but we are hoping that we can do as good of a job as we can to make this night special and something memorable for them.”
Cars carrying graduates and their families started to arrive around 4:30. Each wave carried roughly 30 students. The graduates would get out and stand in front of their cars (all wearing masks) and carrying a name card. Teachers would then grab the card, and hand them to Principal Parades standing on the podium located on the movable stage.
She would call each student’s name one by one. They would then leave their designated parking spots, walk up to the stage, grab a diploma off the table, and take their masks off to display a brilliant smile full of happiness, pride, and excitement.
Graduates would then stand on either side of the stage, with Parades saying “Graduates to my right, you may turn your tassels and return to your cars. Congratulations.” The same phrase said to the students on the left.
They were n an out of West Haven High School in about 30 minutes. Speed was necessary for the intermittent rain showers during the day on Monday. Regardless of the weather, it was a memorable evening that no one will ever forget.