CCISD makes alternate plans for class of 2020 graduation ceremonies, parade
By LYNETTE SOWELL
A big day arrived for seniors at Copperas Cove High School on Monday, when students could go to the campus to pick up their caps and gowns for graduation.
With the Copperas Cove Independent School District keeping its campuses closed through the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, its graduating seniors kept one eye on completing their coursework and another on what will happen as far as a graduation ceremony for the class of 2020.
With 488 members of the class of 2020, plus their family and friends who would likely attend a physical ceremony, it presented a challenge with social distancing and the governor’s executive order to stay at home.
On Monday, Governor Abbott announced that he would allow that order to expire on April 30 and begin the first phase of reopening Texas for business.
Phase 1 includes reopening of retail establishments to no more than 25% capacity.
Although phase 1 doesn’t include school-related activities, the district had an announcement of its own on last Friday.
Stephen Simicek, the 12th grade assistant principal, made a video as he stood on the stage of Lea Ledger Auditorium at Copperas Cove High School.
Clad in a Copperas Cove cap and gown, and wearing blue and yellow Senior Socks on his feet, Simicek had a special message for the class of 2020.
“You will have the opportunity to walk the stage in front of your family for graduation,” Simicek told the students. “We’re also planning to hold a parade, in your honor. We’re going to give you new, updated details every week. We’re working hard to get this done for you; work hard to get it done for yourself. Finish off coursework and get it all done – go ‘Dawgs!”
In addition to Simicek distributing caps and gowns on Monday, CCHS senior counselor Jessica Henderson was excited to see the students on campus, if but for a brief moment in their vehicles.
“It made our hearts so happy to see (our seniors’) faces today!” Henderson said. “We have the best group of seniors around!”
The district has been in touch with graduating seniors and has been collecting photos from them to use as part of a virtual graduation video that will be shared with the students and the community.