Waterside Theatre provides picturesque location for Manteo graduation

Published 2:57 pm Monday, June 15, 2020

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Manteo High School graduates and their families were welcomed to the Waterside Theatre on June 8 and 9.

After a decision was approved by the Board of Education to host “drive-in” graduation ceremonies and the National Park Service okayed the use of the theatre, principals and school staff got to work on planning the two-day long festivities.

The Waterside Theatre is located in Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and is home to performances of The Lost Colony on Roanoke Island.

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Graduates were ushered from their cars to the trail through the trees, which led them and their family and household members to the front entrance of the Waterside Theatre.

Upon arrival, they were welcomed by school staff and handed graduation packets before finding their way to the stage area.

On Tuesday, Board of Education members Bea Basnight, Margaret Lawler, Mary Ellon Ballance and Frank Hester were there to congratulate the MHS seniors.

“We really wanted to make it very special for the graduates, and I think it was,” said board Chair Bea Basnight.

The graduates then made their way down to cascading steps and onto the stage, where they were accompanied by Principal John Luciano, Assistant Principal Drew Hudspeth and Superintendent of Dare County Schools Dr. John Farrelly.

Families and friends gathered in front of the first row of seats and faced the stage to take pictures and applaud the graduates. Basnight said she was pleased that each individual family was able to be up close to the stage to watch their graduate.

Each graduate was then photographed with Luciano holding their diploma and received a large sunflower before exiting the stage. The sunflower was the class flower of choice; a perfect match to the black and gold colors that represent the school.

A videographer was on scene to capture the day’s events.

“Every senior had a chance to feel like they had the spotlight, like they were special,” Basnight shared. “It was gorgeous day and they had a gorgeous backdrop, I’m happy we were able to work it out.”



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