Over 3,000 seniors graduate in-person in Collier County
COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. – Over 3,000 seniors across eight Collier County Public Schools graduated at in-person ceremonies Friday morning.
Each student was given four tickets, two for floor seating, the other two on bleachers. This year, ceremonies for all eight schools were also streamed online.
Graduates were given caps, gowns, and masks reading “Class of 2021.”
The school district decided to cancel proms this year, leaving many to wonder whether graduations were going to follow suit.
Naples High School parent Kurt Biggs said, “…we were not going to be in-person, and then it was going to be in-person and there was only going to be two people. It made things…what’s going to happen.”
Biggs’ son, Mason felt the same way after getting through a tough school year.
“He started the year off virtual and then he wanted to go back to school to experience some of his senior year and then he actually came back to school and realized that it didn’t feel normal,” he said.
CCPS Superintendent, Dr. Kamela Patton said the Class of 2021 is a unique group.
“As some of the students said in their speeches,” she said. “This is the group that ushered their high school years in with Hurricane Irma and out with a pandemic.”
Patton said enduring those events taught students a few life lessons.
“What will happen is these kids will be more actually ready for life than even I was because we didn’t have to be as resilient, use as much grit as they’ve had to with as much of the changing times,” she said.
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