Waynesboro High School and families celebrate graduating seniors with parade

Waynesboro High School and families celebrate graduating seniors with parade

WAYNESBORO, Va. (WVIR) - In Waynesboro, more than 200 high school seniors are graduating. They overcame the challenges of learning in the middle of a pandemic and will accept their diplomas this weekend.

Wednesday, their families celebrated them with a new tradition. This is the 2nd year in a row Waynesboro seniors were honored with a parade. It started in 2020 because of COVID-19, but it’s a tradition Waynesboro High School Principal Bryan Stamm says will stay.

From the streets to the cars, even some of the students’ caps are decorated for the occasion.

“We call it kind of a reverse parade,” said Stamm.

Seniors line Main Street in downtown, and their families and teachers are the parade.

“They just drive up and down Main Street celebrating the kids honking horns, hollering,” stated Stamm.

But make no mistake, this is about the graduates.

“It’s hard. It’s been a hard year,” said Stamm. They spent at least half the school year learning from home.

“This year was pretty crazy not being able to go to school. So it was difficult doing virtual too, said graduating senior Jaella Alexander.

Alexander and Jnaija Jackson actually finished in December, but the best friends will take to the stage this coming weekend to receive their hard-earned diplomas.

“I’m actually really excited, more than I was a week ago,” said Jackson.

It’s excitement that is well deserved amid a pandemic. It took a community to get the 200 plus students here -- teachers, families, and of the course the students -- Class of 2021.

“You can see the excitement. You can feel the excitement,” said Stamm. “And that’s what we like. That’s what we like the most is just being able to give them a moment they enjoy.”

There are two graduation ceremonies this coming weekend. The first is a traditional ceremony Friday, May 14 on the football field. Then Saturday, May 15, there will be small group ceremonies all day inside.

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