Cumberland County high school seniors begin modified graduation ceremonies

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Starting Friday, Cumberland County graduating seniors are taking part in modified graduation ceremonies.

The graduates at E.E. Smith High School walked into a nearly empty auditorium in small groups to receive their diplomas.

“It still felt really nice getting that diploma,” said Jessica Alvarez. “It’s really different because we would have gone to the Crown Coliseum, but in a way, it was really great because we got to walk through the halls and relive all of those memories.”

Each graduate is allowed up to four guests to walk with them. Alvarez brought her proud parents along.

“Very exciting especially because she’s valedictorian — she’s top of her class,” Edgardo Alvarez said about his daughter.

The class of 2020 earned special cords to represent the resiliency they’ve shown during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kyndall Ray added that cord to several others she’s earned for academic excellence and community service.

Ray wants to be a doctor, just like her dad.

She’s excited to share this day with her parents, her sister and her grandma.

“It was really kind of strange trying to figure out how everything was going to happen and … waiting for emails or phone calls. But it was good that everything was able to come together and we were able to have a ceremony at all,” Ray said.

“We are able to adapt and we are going to be way more eager to go into the world and do great things,” Alvarez said.

Cumberland County Schools will continue with similar ceremonies through June 19.

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