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Graduation Pushed Back, But Shine Your Light In Honor of Seniors Tonight

By Derek Tyson, The Welch News Editor

MCDOWELL COUNTY, WV – For seniors in high school, it’s been anything but a normal year like most of us remember with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the closure of schools and postponement of graduation. But tonight at 8:30 p.m., the WVSSAC encourages everyone to shine a light for these students.

Lights at both Mount View and River View will burn for McDowell County’s senior class, but the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission encourages everyone to join in on supporting these students.

Light up stadiums, front lawns of your school, or turn on porch lights tonight at 8:30 p.m..

As for when graduation will be officially held, the current plan is for late July according to MCS Superintendent Carolyn Falin.

“We have to wait and see what the Governor’s orders are and what the guidelines are for gathering,” said Falin. “We’re planning on having it on the football fields at Mount View and River View so we have more room to social distance to guidelines standard.”

Falin said students were surveyed with parents also giving feedback. Once the Board of Education viewed the information, they pushed back the graduation date to allow a graduation ceremony to still be held.

“The kids really want as much normalcy as possible for graduation,” said Falin. “It’s good that the Governor extended the gathering size to 25, which doesn’t help us any in this situation, but we’ll do what we can to do what they want.”

Limiting guests will be required, but Falin said the details are still being worked out at this time. The plan is to livestream both graduations to allow family and friends not able to attend a chance to see their favorite graduate receive their diploma.

“If it gets close to the end of July and we can’t hold the graduation, we’ll have a backup plan,” said Falin. “That would be as far back as we could probably push it because after that, students start school again, some of them get jobs and get on with the second part of their lives.”

While the graduation plans are being worked out, we still have a chance to honor our seniors tonight at 8:30 p.m. Shine a Light for our graduates, entering the adult world in such a strange time, to let them know McDowell County is behind them all.