Darren Doyle, story:
The Edmonson County High School graduation ceremony for the class of 2020 was finally held today after months of delays due to the coronavirus pandemic.
March 13, 2020 was the last day ECHS seniors would have class inside the walls of Edmonson County High School but school officials immediately began working on a plan for a graduation ceremony that would happen, although much later. Public gathering restrictions kept the ceremony from happening in May and again in September, but a limited crowd, social distancing, and masks helped to make today's ceremony possible for the class of 121 students and their friends and families.
Emma Rose Vincent, class valedictorian, and Lauren Ballance, class salutatorian, each gave their commencement speeches; both of which were encouraging in the face of difficult times.
School counselors (now retired) Michael Meredith and Corentha Cole recognized dozens of students for their special achievements, scholarships, and opportunities received over school careers, and Assistant Principal Chad Johnston recognized all students that participated in special programs, organizations, and clubs.
Seniors Steven Graves and Devin Smith were recognized for having perfect attendance in grade 12 and Dillon Webb was recognized for perfect attendance during grades 3 through 12.
Senior Zach Holt received a standing ovation when he was recognized for enlisting in the U.S. Army.
Luke Meredith, also a senior, led the closing, which was first a moment of silence for lost classmate Brayden Combs, who was killed in an automobile accident last year, and then by a heartfelt prayer.
Superintendent Brian Alexander (principal last year) then dismissed the class as they tossed their caps up into the air.
The ceremony looked much different than those in years past. Each student was allowed only 4 tickets to the ceremony, which was strictly enforced due to attendance restrictions. Graduates were spaced 6 feet apart, attendees were also spaced out throughout the gym, and everyone in attendance was required to wear a face covering. Students and staff were allowed to remove or pull down their mask when taking photos.
Twenty-seven graduates completed their course of study with a 4.0 GPA or higher, and 34 graduates were recognized as honor students. The class received a total of over $1.8 million dollars of potential scholarship funding, which is the highest in the history of ECHS.
The entire ceremony was streamed by the Edmonson Voice and can be viewed by clicking here.