LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Wednesday, May 19, was a big day in more ways than one for 2021 graduates in Louisa County. The Louisa County Lions got to turn their tassel and say goodbye to their classmates, in person.
Decked out in their green caps and gowns, over 300 seniors filed out onto the football field, ready to receive their diploma.
Parent Daphne MacDougal was waiting on the sidelines, ready to watch her son cross the stage. “It’s been a long time to get here but it feels like we got here fast,” she said.
MacDougal said for most students, like her son, the graduation is the first, somewhat normal experience the seniors have had all year.
“We’re grateful for Louisa County High School for getting us here today. We’re so excited to see it in person and to see his class all together for the first time since last March. He has friends that he’ll see today that he hasn’t seen in over a year, so we’re really happy to be able to do it in person,” she said.
For some students, teachers and parents, it’s an emotional day. It’s a day Theo Fletcher, another parent, said she’d thought never come.
“I never thought this would happen, right in the heart of COVID-19. Even at the beginning of the school year, they were so unsure about what they were going to do for our kids,” Fletcher. “But these kids have gone through so much and it is just awesome to have it here with their family and their friends, for them to graduate as a class.”
Parents and guests were spaced out across the field to social distance. Masks were necessary for all attendees.
Louisa County Public Schools Superintendent Doug Straley said the graduation is the first major event the community has hosted since March 2020.
“So many aspects of our community, from emergency services to all of our high school and our parents, just so many folks, coming together to say, ‘Hey, we’ll make this happen, we’ll help make this a special event for everyone,’ and that’s what Louisa County does time after time, and they didn’t disappoint today,” Straley said.
After a year like no other, the class of 2021 are now graduates. The lessons they’ve learned throughout the school year, both Fletcher and MacDougal said, will carry them for a lifetime.
“They’ve overcome some big challenges this year, and I know they’re going to take that with them,” MacDougal said.
“The bond that you get your senior year, these children missed it. All of us remember the Senior Skip Days, all the things that we did as seniors. These children did not get to do it but still, they’re going to get to walk across the stage and it’s amazing,” Fletcher said. “They’re so amazing.”