Kingman area schools hope to hold graduation ceremonies
KINGMAN – Every person has certain events they look forward to in life – birthdays, family reunions and graduations. Each one holds special significance, but the uncertainty surrounding coronavirus has many Kingman-area high school seniors unsure if the pandemic will continue into May and take away the day they’ve looked forward to for so many years.
“All I’ve said to the students, specifically to the high school seniors because they’ve been very worried about their graduation, is ‘Look, I’ll do everything that I can to make sure you have a graduation. So don’t panic yet,’” said Susan Chan, Kingman Academy of Learning’s executive director. “I’m just hoping that we’re able to have it like we wanted it on the date that we wanted. But things may change. It all depends on how this virus works its way through our community.”
It’s the same situation at Kingman Unified School District as the top priority is making sure the seniors take the next step into the real world. Kingman High School seniors are scheduled to graduate May 18, while Lee Williams and Kingman Academy seniors will walk May 20.
“We have the guidance counselors, principals and teachers working on it. We’re making sure every student will have the opportunity to graduate,” said Gretchen Dorner, superintendent of KUSD. “And then if school closures are extended, we’ll (adjust our) graduation ceremony, even if it’s postponed. Those kids will have a graduation ceremony.”
Kingman High School senior Morgan Stephens was glad to hear that update as she and her classmates have waited a long time for the special occasion.
“This is something we’ve worked for since we were 5 years old, and really don’t want the ceremony canceled, or have our diploma mailed to us,” Stephens said. “I watched all my siblings walk across the stage and I have been waiting for my chance to do so. Walking the stage is a huge accomplishment and I really want the opportunity as well.”
And to help that cause, Stephens and the rest of the KUSD seniors had a chance to bring some normalcy to the situation when they received some graduation essentials.
“Jostens, the company that we order through, (offered) a drive-thru graduation gown pick-up (last) week,” Dorner said. “… That’ll help the seniors feel like this is still real.”
Stephens admitted that she picked up her gap and gown.
“I couldn’t wait any longer,” she said.
But at the end of the day, there is still a lot of unknown surrounding the situation and Dorner feels for all of the students affected by COVID-19.
“It’s a bummer, and my heart goes out to all of our Kingman family of students, but in particular the seniors in high school,” she said. “They’re really missing that last final hurrah and push of all their years of education.”
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