LAKELAND, Fla. - With their biggest fans filling the stadium, rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of high school seniors in Polk County Saturday morning.
It’s the first outdoor graduation during the COVID-19 pandemic for any Bay Area school district and the pomp and circumstance could be felt throughout Joker Merchant Stadium as graduates made their way across the field
“I’m thrilled that we get this opportunity to come and celebrate him,” said proud mother Lori Baranowski. “He was really worried that it was going to be virtual or canceled. So I really am proud of Polk Co schools for going the extra mile to make this happen for our kids.”
With school districts having to find different ways to honor their graduates in light of pandemic, Polk County Schools took its senior's opinions into account. They voted to hold an in-person ceremony and the district was determined to make it happen.
After having their temperature checked and making sure their masks were in place, graduates received their diploma.
There were no handshakes. Speeches were short and a socially distant photo captured the moment.
It was a graduation day unlike any other and one that the class of 2020 won’t soon forget.