“Pomp and Circumstance” played, and the Beatty High School Class of 2020 gathered at the school’s football field to receive diplomas. It was a typical high school graduation ceremony. Except it wasn’t.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing was observed by this year’s graduates. There was no seating for the graduates, and, except for whatever family and friends could fit in a vehicle carrying a graduate, no people in the bleachers to cheer for them.
Instead, vehicles entered the field at the gate near the north end zone and drove slowly around the track. After making a full lap, they were lined up in front of the home bleachers, with senior class adviser Steve Sullivan directing traffic. Other spectators were lined up at the fence behind the end zone, with tape in place to keep them from getting too close.
When everyone was in place, diplomas were handed out to 31 young people from Amargosa Valley and Beatty.
The ceremony followed a parade through town, as each graduate rode in a vehicle that was decorated for the occasion. Some were simple, others more festive, but each one was a celebration. The parade route followed Main Street, turned left onto South 2nd Street, then made a right at Amargosa Street and proceeded to the field gate.
Emergency vehicles, an occasional siren blaring, led the way as people lined the streets to cheer and celebrate with noisemakers. Graduates sat in the beds of pickups, stood through the roofs of vans and sat on the open windows of cars to wave to the spectators.
Much like high school, it was over before you knew it. And after inching their way around the track, the members of the Class of 2020 were ready to receive their diplomas, seven more than graduated a year ago. The class valedictorian was Myah Thompson, while the salutatorian was Aniram Rodriguez.
PVHS hosting 2-day event
Pahrump Valley High School will hold a similar event for its Class of 2020, with a drive-thru graduation ceremony Wednesday, May 27 and Thursday, May 28.
Graduates may participate once on the day and time of their choosing. The event will be held 5-9 p.m. Wednesday, May 27 and 8 a.m.-noon and 6-8 p.m. Thursday, May 28.
Each graduate will have one vehicle holding them and their guests, not to include RVs, buses, flatbed trucks or semis, according to the Pahrump Valley Trojans Facebook page. Cars will enter at the West gate off of Calvada Boulevard, and graduates will remain in their vehicles until prompted to exit at the appropriate time and walk to the stage for recognition.
A station will be set up to pick up honors sashes, and any graduate needing to borrow a cap and gown should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the same day the school announced graduation ceremony details, it announced that diploma pickups will start Wednesday, June 3. Each graduate will receive a sealed final transcript, a report card and awards they have earned, and if a transcript is needed for a school, employer or the military, a request form can be filled out at that time.
Exact details on the times and type of ceremonies have yet to be announced.