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First Flight High School seniors take the stage for graduation

On May 28, the Dare County Board of Education approved plans for a “drive-in” graduation ceremony to be held for each of their three high school senior classes.

On June 1, First Flight High School held their first of three days of graduation ceremonies on the FFHS football field.

While not the traditional ceremony style due to COVID-19 concerns and restrictions, this approach allowed for graduates to be recognized individually and have their family and household members in attendance as they received their diploma.

“What’s nice about this is the individual attention you get,” Superintendent Dr. John Farrelly noted, “you don’t really get that in a traditional graduation.”

Graduates and their families were greeted by faculty volunteers at the gated entrance to the football field upon arrival. After receiving programs, the graduate and party were guided to a place to have professional pictures taken by Audra Krieg Photography.

From there, the family and household members were welcomed onto the track field to view the stage where the graduate was recognized by their principal and assistant principals.

Principal Chuck Lansing, along with Assistant Principals Lela Ingram and Thomas McGeachy, congratulated each senior as he or she took the stage and photos were taken.

Farrelly said the principals should receive the credit for having the festivities come together. “They’re always thinking and very proactive,” he said. “They do whatever they can for the kids.”

Assistant Superintendent Arty Tillett said the planning for a ceremony like this took weeks. “This doesn’t just happen, it takes a lot of work,” he said.

The fences surrounded the field were adorned with blue and white ribbons and wreaths and the score board displayed the big, bright numbers “2020.”

“We put a lot of heart into this thing,” Tillett shared. “We just want to make sure the kids are celebrated.”

After a quick turnaround from the final decision on May 28 to the first ceremony on June 1, the graduation plans received “a lot of positive feedback,” according to Farrelly.

As each graduate took to the field, Baldwin Video Productions filmed clips that will culminate in an all-encompassing graduation video. The video is set to be released approximately mid-June.

Graduation speakers were also filmed for the video. Lansing shared that “Sophia Cooper is our valedictorian and Ruperto Martinez Tagirova is our salutatorian.”

Manteo High School’s graduating class will be recognized at the Waterside Theatre June 8 through 10 and Cape Hatteras Secondary School’s graduation ceremony will take place on their baseball field on June 11.



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