Jenks sends off Class of 2020 the right way

Jenks sends off Class of 2020 the right way

Jenks High School is one of the largest schools in the state of Oklahoma and last Friday, it showed once again why it is one of the best high schools in this area of the country.

The third-largest high school in the state hosted not one, but two traditional graduation ceremonies Friday evening at the Mabee Center on the campus of Oral Roberts University in Tulsa.

Jenks Public Schools officials did not have to do this, but they made the decision to go through with the traditional commencement ceremonies, so the Jenks High School senior class of 2020 could have the chance to walk across the stage and hear their names called in front of family and friends.

It was not a requirement, but instead voluntary based on what each senior and his or her family decided was in the best interest for them.

Students with last names that start with A through K participated in the first ceremony with students with the last names that start with L through Z participating in the night-capper event.

Each senior was allowed to have four guests of their choice in attendance and each unit was to sit at least six-feet away from the next closest unit to maintain safe social distancing. Also, each person in attendance was strongly suggested to wear masks, but they were not mandatory. Every person who entered the Mabee Center Friday had their temperature checked prior to entrance.

Sure, it was not like traditional graduation ceremonies of the past with the Mabee Center packed to the brim and everyone in your senior class on the floor with you, as you patiently wait your turn to go walk across the stage you have been looking forward to for 12 years.

However, instead of focusing on the negative, how about we focus on the positive that the school officials care enough about its senior class to sacrifice their time and energy to make this type of event happen in the safest way possible.

Trust me, it would have been easier to say “congratulations and good luck” after the virtual graduation ceremony took place May 18, but that is not the type of people that run Jenks Public Schools.

Of course, there will be those who question whether it was right for Jenks Public Schools to have these graduation ceremonies, especially with the COVID-19 numbers on the rise, but I can tell you, this event was safe and done well.

I know this senior class has been through some unsettling times throughout the past three years with the Teacher Walkout of 2018, the Historic Arkansas River Flood of 2019 and now a pandemic in 2020, but I do hope when they look back on the year 2020 and their high school graduation, they consider everything that was going on and realize how special it was for their school to do what they did for them.

I would like to say well-done Jenks Public Schools. It would have been easy to call it a day after virtual graduation, but you did the opposite and gave the class of 2020 the graduation they earned.

Jenks High School hosted two graduation ceremonies Friday at the Mabee Center in Tulsa, so safe social distancing could be practiced. Photo/Kyle Salomon

Kyle Salomon

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