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It’s graduation for Mon’s public high school seniors

MORGANTOWN — After the pandemic-isolated, remote-learning spring of their junior year — followed by a senior year that saw plenty of COVID snags along the way, graduation weekend has finally arrived for the collective Class of 2021 in Monongalia County’s school district.

University High’s seniors go forth in ceremonies at 7 p.m. Friday at Mylan Pharmaceuticals Stadium on the Bakers Ridge Road campus.

Pony Lewis Field is the place for Morgantown High’s Class of 2021, which will gather there 10 a.m. Saturday for its send-off.

The seniors of Clay-Battelle High School will assemble at 3 p.m. Sunday on the turf of the Joe and Louie Statler Athletic Complex for their first steps out of high school.

All ceremonies will be socially distant affairs, with masking and other pandemic protocols required.

Ceremonies from all three schools will be livestreamed across various social media platforms. Visit the district website at for more details.

Each senior may also bring up to four guests for the ceremony, said Donna Talerico, the district’s deputy superintendent.

Such rites of passage, abbreviated or changed altogether by the pandemic as they may be, couldn’t be more important, Talerico said.

“We just want to be able to celebrate with our kids,” she said.

The district celebrated Wednesday by putting Pfizer shots in the arms of its middle-school students in the 12-to-15-year age range, who were among the first signups.

By the time clinics are finished Friday afternoon, some 1,500 first-time dosages will have been administered to that population across Mon’s four middle schools and Clay-Battelle, which also houses middle-school grades.

There are 2,400 middle-school students on the roll in Mon’s district this year, and an estimated 78,000 in this age range across West Virginia who are now newly eligible to be vaccinated.

That’s in the future, though.

The school district Friday evening begins the work of looking back fondly on its seniors saying farewell to high school.

Talerico, meanwhile, hopes no one has say hello to any raindrops over the course of the three ceremonies.

Downpours drenched the Class of 2020.

AccuWeather is calling for highs of around 90 Friday with still-warm temperatures in the 80s come graduation time for UHS.

Look for the same Saturday and Sunday for MHS and Clay-Battelle, with highs near 90 both days.

Intermittent clouds are also in the mix for all three days, AccuWeather said.

The watchword in the district’s central office? No rain, Talerico said. Forecasters right now aren’t calling for any.

“I put in a request for good weather,” she said, half-jokingly. “We’ll see.”

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