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Family hosts graduation ceremony amid the coronavirus pandemic

Family fears the traditional graduation ceremony may not happen

Von Ormy – Schools have been forced to shut down to help stop the spread of COVID-19, but there’s still a group of students in limbo, unsure of what will happen in the coming weeks with graduation ceremonies.

The class of 2020 still waits on their respective school districts’ decisions on whether or not they’ll have graduation ceremonies. One family in Von Ormy, Texas, took matters into their own hands and hosted a quarantine graduation for their Southwest Legacy High School senior.

Keanu Alonzo never imagined his graduation stage would be a crosswalk in his high school’s parking lot.

“Instead of crossing the stage, I walked this crosswalk,” Keanu said.

Dressed in his older brother’s cap and gown, Keanu Alonzo walked the crosswalk for his quarantine graduation.

Dressed in his older brother’s cap and gown, Keanu Alonzo walks the crosswalk for his quarantine graduation organized by his mother.
Dressed in his older brother’s cap and gown, Keanu Alonzo walks the crosswalk for his quarantine graduation organized by his mother. (KSAT 12)

“He’s worked so hard for (graduation),” Chris said. “He was standing by the front doors (of the high school), standing like you would on (the graduation) stage. For him to finally walk across something was still an achievement.”

Will graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2020 be cancelled?

The quarantine graduation was organized by Alonzo’s mother, Apryl Martínez. Although much different, she wanted to celebrate his accomplishment in a special way.

Family members decorated their cars and wrote words of encouragement on their windows. Sticking to tradition, all the cars blared the traditional graduation march song, “Pomp and Circumstance,” composed by Sir Edward Elgar.

“Thank you to my family for coming,” Keanu said. “For me, it was a really cool moment.”

Southwest Legacy High School senior, Keanu Alonzo waves to his family during the quarantine graduation parade. 
“Thank you to my family for coming,” Keanu said. “For me, it was a really cool moment.”
Southwest Legacy High School senior, Keanu Alonzo waves to his family during the quarantine graduation parade. “Thank you to my family for coming,” Keanu said. “For me, it was a really cool moment.” (KSAT 12)

Southwest Legacy High School’s commencement ceremony is still scheduled for June 5 at the Alamodome. However, in a video shared on the Southwest Independent School District’s Facebook page, the superintendent, Dr. Lloyd Verstuyft said they are also preparing for other options.

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“No matter what, our plan is to do something face to face when it comes to commencement for all of our students, if and when we are allowed to,” Verstuyft said. “We are also going to move forward with preparing for a virtual commencement.”

You can watch the full video here.

SWISD stated all updates for the class of 2020 will continue to be announced on their website, found here, as well as the school district’s Facebook page.


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