Carlsbad High School plans to hold a different kind of graduation celebration

Coronavirus New Mexico

CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) – School districts are scrambling on how to honor seniors and what to do about graduation. One high school in southeast New Mexico is planning to still hold graduation next month, just a little different than normal.

“There is nothing about this year that’s normal,” said Gerry Washburn, Superintendent of Carlsbad Municipal Schools.

Washburn says canceling traditional graduation was a difficult discussion but Carlsbad High School has come up with a unique plan to hold one next month. Some seniors say it won’t be what they are used to but are excited to celebrate their high school career.

“I mean I definitely wanted to walk across the stage, but as long as I get my diploma, I mean that’s where it’s at,” says senior Zachary Glissen.

“I mean it’s still going to be pretty cool. It’s not going to be the big thing but we’re still getting our diploma and stuff,” said Joseph Morin.

They plan to hold the graduation on May 22 as a reverse parade through campus, there will be 12 areas around the school where seniors will be spread out in their cap and gowns. They will all be wearing custom ‘Class of 2020’ masks.

The parents will drive around the campus seeing the students and the event will be available on YouTube and Facebook along with speeches by the valedictorian and others. At first, some seniors thought the idea was dumb but realized how cool it could be.

“At first I didn’t want to go cause it wasn’t like the traditional way of what, how we have always done it, but at the same time I think it’s going to be remembered,” says Senior Trustin Bratcher.

After canceling school, all spring sports and forcing all of their students to stay home the superintendent said they cannot take any more of their final memories from these seniors. “The long term loss to this group of young people is profound and giving some small piece of that is important,” said Washburn.


New Mexico Coronavirus Resource Guide

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