BELTON, Texas – Hundreds of Belton Independent School District seniors said “goodbye” to high school and “hello” to the future on Thursday, as it was time for graduation!
Due to the pandemic, Belton ISD planned the 2020 graduation ceremony unlike anything they’ve done before.
“It’s very very different. So it started off with a car parade, they were able to decorate their cars and just kind of go through the school district area, and then there’s some staging areas where they are doing health screenings and those kinds of things, and the families are being staged for social distancing. And so, as they are coming through and going through those special areas, then they will walk across the stage, and their family can go on stage with them. That’s never been done before,” said Suzanne McDonald, School Board President.
It was a day to remember for the 750 seniors who walked the stage, making up about 90 percent of Belton ISD’s graduating class.
“Throughout the planning process, it really became evident that our Belton ISD community is strong. And we have so many people that played a hand in putting all of this event together,” said Ben Smith, Belton High School Principal.
The seniors were thrilled to have an in-person ceremony, even through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m very excited. I’m glad we aren’t doing it virtually. I’d rather much do this,” said Read Jackson, who graduated from Belton New Tech High School.
“It was a great decision. It was really fun. It was new. Nobody else has done this before, so it was awesome to be the first to experience it,” said Ariel Haagsma, who graduated from Belton New Tech High School.
“Excited. I’m excited for the future,” said Ashlynn Jimenez, who graduated from Belton New Tech High School.
For other students, it was a moment they never thought would come.
“It’s just kind of a weird feeling. It’s just kind of something I thought as a kid, and I’d always be like, ‘I’m never going to be here at this point.’ And it’s kinda surreal to me, just being here right now and being able to move on to better and bigger things,” said Edgar Paz, who graduated from Belton New Tech High School.
For parents, it was a dream come true to walk the stage with their seniors.
“That’s surreal. That was probably one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had since I graduated,” said one parent.
The event continues with a firework display from 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. You can watch it by clicking HERE.