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Amherst County High School students set to have unique graduation ceremony

Amherst County will have a Commencement in Cars ceremony on May 23

AMHERST, Va. – Amherst County High School seniors are in for a unique graduation celebration next month.

To comply with COVID-19 regulations school leaders are holding a “Commencement in Cars” ceremony for the Class of 2020.

The graduation program will in the high school parking lot.

From their cars, family and friends will listen to speeches from the class president and valedictorian.

The Plan- Commencement in Cars

Hello Lancer Family! We are excited to announce our final plans for our graduation called Commencement in Cars. Amherst County High School will host its commencement exercises on May 23rd, 2020 at 6:00 PM at Amherst County High School. Due to the global pandemic, this year’s graduation ceremony is called Commencement in Cars. We wanted to create an experience that complies with the current COVID-19 restrictions and provides a meaningful ceremony to celebrate our seniors. Commencement in Cars will have all the elements of a normal graduation. Here are the details: Cars: Every senior will be given tickets for two cars (the senior-family car and the guest car. The seniors will be staged in their family car in the front and senior lots. The guest car can park on the Junior Hill lot. Families are encouraged to decorate their cars with positive and inspirational messages and/or school spirit. If cars are needed we will work with families to help The Ceremony: In the Junior lot we will have a jumbo screen to project the ceremony to the guests in their cars. We will have speeches by our senior class president, principal, valedictorian, and salutatorian. At the conclusion of our speeches, the cars carrying the seniors will drive down Lancer Ln where their teachers will be standing and cheering every 10 feet leading them to the stage at the bottom of the junior parking lot where our stage will be waiting for them. They will walk across the stage and receive their diploma where they will have their picture taken and be cheered on by their friends, family, and everyone in the parking lot. When the students walk across the stage, a slide will be shown on the screen with their picture, accomplishments, and future plans. Parade: After students receive their diploma they will drive out of the back exit of the junior lot where a police escort will lead them as a parade of seniors through the Town of Amherst. Friends, family, and community members will be encouraged to park along the parade route to honk and cheer our newest Amherst graduates through the Town of Amherst Photos and streaming: Photos will be taken as students walk across the stage. We plan to live stream the ceremony so that everyone can watch from their cars no matter where they are parked. We also plan to have the audio broadcasted for those who want to turn it on their car radio if they do not have a device to stream. Community: We are encouraging our community to creatively support our seniors all over the county. We would love to see signs of support and congratulations for the class of 2020 on business signs, billboards, churches, and front yards. We want our seniors to see that our community loves and supports them, and we hope that they see signs of that everywhere they look as they drive to graduation! Commencement plans are subject to change depending on local, state, and/or federal restrictions. The decision not to delay commencement until the summer was not made lightly. Through communication with state and local offices, it is becoming more likely that social distancing and a restriction on public gatherings will continue through the summer. The possibility of having a traditional graduation is highly unlikely and we wanted to make sure that our Seniors had a memorable experience to celebrate their academic careers, their hard work, and their dedication to Amherst County High School. “Intentional Excellence” has been our theme for this year and whether we have been in the classroom, on the playing fields and courts, or on the stage, we have held each other to that standard. We believe that with the support of our community and the positivity of our parents, these students will enjoy an experience that no other graduating class from Amherst County High School has. Safety has also been at the forefront of all of our decisions, which is why we have decided to have graduation this way. We decided to host this at Amherst County High School because we felt it was symbolically important for them to be able to come to the school one last time since they left so abruptly. We are working as hard as we can to create the most memorable experience for our Seniors because they deserve nothing less than excellence. To the graduating class of 2020, you are loved and appreciated by all of the educators that helped you get to this point. You have earned a chance to be celebrated and to have your moment on the stage. We all know that you will go do great things in our society and that the world will be a better place because of the class of 2020!

Posted by Amherst Lancers on Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Once all that is over, the cars carrying seniors will drive students to another parking lot-- where they will walk across the stage, receive their diploma and take a picture.

“We want this to be a special memory and we think that this is to be a day that will be remembered in Amherst County history for a very, very long time," said Principal Dr. Derrick Brown.

The ceremony is on May 23 at 6 p.m. at Amherst County High School.

Below are details how school leaders plan to make Commencement in Cars will work.

Cars: Every senior will be given tickets for two cars (the senior-family car and the guest car. The seniors will be staged in their family car in the front and senior lots. The guest car can park on the Junior Hill lot. Families are encouraged to decorate their cars with positive and inspirational messages and/or school spirit. If cars are needed, we will work with families to help

The Ceremony: In the Junior lot we will have a jumbo screen to project the ceremony to the guests in their cars. We will have speeches by our senior class president, principal, valedictorian, and salutatorian. At the conclusion of our speeches, the cars carrying the seniors will drive down Lancer Ln where their teachers will be standing and cheering every 10 feet leading them to the stage at the bottom of the junior parking lot where our stage will be waiting for them. They will walk across the stage and receive their diploma where they will have their picture taken and be cheered on by their friends, family, and everyone in the parking lot. When the students walk across the stage, a slide will be shown on the screen with their picture, accomplishments, and future plans.

Parade: After students receive their diploma they will drive out of the back exit of the junior lot where a police escort will lead them as a parade of seniors through the Town of Amherst. Friends, family, and community members will be encouraged to park along the parade route to honk and cheer our newest Amherst graduates through the Town of Amherst

Photos and streaming: Photos will be taken as students walk across the stage. We plan to live stream the ceremony so that everyone can watch from their cars no matter where they are parked. We also plan to have the audio broadcasted for those who want to turn it on their car radio if they do not have a device to stream.

Community: We are encouraging our community to creatively support our seniors all over the county. We would love to see signs of support and congratulations for the class of 2020 on business signs, billboards, churches, and front yards. We want our seniors to see that our community loves and supports them, and we hope that they see signs of that everywhere they look as they drive to graduation!


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