2020 Graduation to be televised

Keyana Burries, Editor-in-Chief

From shouts of joy that school was canceled for an extra week after spring break to the frustration, sadness and tears that the school year, at least in the traditional sense, was over with no notice, no goodbyes, no prom, and most importantly no way to walk the stage in May for seniors, the COVID-19 pandemic has put a damper in all scholastic spring activities. Omaha Public Schools (OPS) officials, however, have been hard at work planning to ensure the class of 2020 will still have a graduation or two. 

Seniors will have a virtual graduation on May 27 at 6 p.m. It will be a televised graduation celebrating seniors. OPS will also host a more traditional graduation at Baxter Arena in August if the pandemic has slowed down. The tentative dates for that are August 1,3 and 4.  

“This is a milestone that we cannot miss sharing with our families,” senior Veronica Alonso said. “It will be our victory chant to all of the obstacles we have overcame to get to where we are now.” 

Like a traditional graduation they will have speakers share messages with the class of 2020 and the names of each graduate will be read aloud as their name and photograph is displayed.  This graduation will stream online but the district is finalizing work to have it stream on The Knowledge Network, which is Cox Cable channel 18.  

“As a parent, past teacher, principal and your superintendent, I want you to know how disappointed we all are that this year has to be different for your health and safety,” Superintendent Cheryl Logan said in a video to students. 

They will have prerecorded speeches from principals, the superintendent, a Board of education member and the senior class leader. The district partnered with MarchingOrder to assist with the ceremony facilitation. 

“You [class of 2020] will always be remembered for your strength and determination,” principal Dr.  Rony Ortega said. “When this is over you will be the strongest, closet and possibly the most storied class Bryan High School has ever seen. “