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Preston High School class of 2020 ceremony may be individualized or occur outside due to COVID-19

KINGWOOD — Preston High Class of 2020 may have a COVID-19 version of the open air graduation it wants, but, just in case that isn’t allowed, there will also be another ceremony.

Last week surveys went out to graduates and their parents, asking them to choose between six possible graduation ceremonies. The traditional ceremony, with guests seated closely together and graduates seated shoulder to shoulder on the field.

“There were like 80% wanting the traditional one,” PHS Principal Steve Plum said.

On Thursday, the graduation committee met to see the results and make a decision on graduation. What it agreed on is holding two graduation ceremonies.

“Everyone is hoping we can have some kind of face-to-face graduation,” Preston School Superintendent Steve Wotring said Friday. “By far the largest percentage of people wanted the outdoor ceremony as close to normal as possible.”

An outdoor ceremony is scheduled for June 18 at Knight Field. The rain date for that is June 20. Still unknown is how many guests each of the 285 graduates could bring, based on health department guidelines at the time.

In addition, graduates will also attend individual indoor ceremonies May 26-29 in the school gym. The stage will be set up and grads will walk across it in cap and gown, and receive their diplomas as friends and family watch. The graduate’s CTE completion status and list of awards will be read aloud.

Individual appointments will be made for each graduate.

A photographer and videographer will capture the ceremony for each graduate. These photos, along with recordings of speeches that would be given at graduation, will be compiled in a DVD. Each graduate will receive a copy.

“One of the concerns that was made known to me is that the outdoor graduation, if they didn’t get to have it, there was nothing else,” Wotring said. “So that’s why we decided to do the videotaping and the picture.”

This way people who cannot attend the graduation will be able to watch the ceremony. And if COVID-19 restrictions ban the outdoor ceremony. seniors will still have had a ceremony.

“I just really want to do the best that they can to make sure that they have something, and that it’s as special as it can be,” Wotring said.

The school is working with the Preston County Health Department on procedures for the

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