For a second straight year, under the dark cloud of a pandemic, local high schools were able to give their students a proper send-off into the future.
A year ago, while some schools were shelving graduation ceremonies altogether and simply mailing diplomas, the administration and staff of the East and West Tallahatchie school districts ensured that their seniors were recognized in person.
Granted, Charleston High School’s 2020 commencement exercises were anything but traditional, and yet the students still got to walk down the aisle of the Morgan Freeman Auditorium, as their predecessors have done for decades.
At West Tallahatchie High School, graduation was a drive-thru affair, but it was still personal and the graduates received their diplomas from a live representative of the school, not from the U.S. Postal Service.
Thankfully, 2021 graduations at both schools were much more normal. While a few concessions were made for COVID-19, for the most part, the Tigers and Choctaws could enjoy the fruits of their labors in typical fashion with a sit-down program in their respective school auditoriums.
Just imagine the stories they will be able to share with their children and grandchildren about their unique experience of graduating in the midst of a worldwide health emergency.
To a person, I would be willing to bet that all of them, and all of us, for that matter, would trade those “war stories” for a complete reset of 2020-21 — or at least one without the novel coronavirus. Aside from the inconvenience, there has been so much sickness, and death.
That education in any form was able to continue this past school year is a testimony to the resourcefulness, dedication and determination of school personnel, parents and students in utilizing available technology to overcome.