Graduation plans ‘up in the air’ for FVHS class of 2022

FVHS+math+teacher+Carole+Barber+asked+her+seniors+to+share+their+post-high+school+plans+by+making+a+paper+strip+for+her+gallery.+Barber+leads+graduation+coordination+efforts+at+FVHS+each+year.+

Photo by Abigail Lapp

FVHS math teacher Carole Barber asked her seniors to share their post-high school plans by making a paper strip for her gallery. Barber leads graduation coordination efforts at FVHS each year.

Abigail Lapp, Opinion Editor

Over the past two years, senior graduations have been put through a loop due to COVID-19 concerns, leaving many current seniors and their families left wondering what will come of their graduation this year. While many wish for the ceremony to return to normal, it’s still not completely certain whether or not this will happen.

Typically, graduation takes place at the Convention Center in Raleigh, and as of right now, that is expected to happen once more. However, not everything is set in stone, and the staff members at school in charge of graduation are currently awaiting more official answers from the district. “Tentatively, it will be like traditional graduation in the convention center, but that could still change due to the pandemic,” said Carole Barber, math teacher and a coordinator for graduation. Smaller details are currently undetermined, including the amount of tickets every graduate will be allotted. 

In general, schools in the district are told how to operate their graduations on a yearly basis, which was the inspiration for a lot of FVHS’s inventive ideas from the last few years. “Two years ago, they told us we had to have some sort of graduation with distancing, so we had individual ceremonies for every kid,” said Barber. During the height of the pandemic, this in-person graduation was something many seniors and their families greatly appreciated, given that across the country others were having to graduate via the internet.

Largely, this year’s seniors desire to have a typical graduation once again, and luckily for them graduation is expected to be normal as of right now. “I believe that tradition is important and returning back to our traditions with graduation is exciting to me,” said Olivia Hoffman, an FVHS senior. “I hope to enjoy all the same things I saw when I was a freshman performing in the graduation band, with things such as seeing graduation speakers.” 

Other students felt similarly and didn’t want to have a graduation like those that occurred during the earlier years of the pandemic. “I don’t want it to be split up,” said Mason Randolph, another senior. “I want everybody to be together. So I feel better about the current plans than the past few years.” 

In terms of other special events for the graduating class, such as Senior Night and Senior Day, plans are expected to proceed as usual. “Senior Night… is happening on June 2, and that will be here, probably in the gym,” said Barber. “The parents are in charge of Senior Day, which is the day after Senior Night. They provide breakfast, and then the parents were in charge of the Senior Day cookout lunch.”

While graduation is expected to occur like in the past this year, Barber said solidified plans are still a bit “up in the air.” However, for the first time since the pandemic began, seniors will be able to have a true graduation with their peers.