SAN LORENZO (KPIX ) — It was not your typical graduation ceremony Tuesday as officials at an East Bay high school did their best to make sure members of the Class of 2020 still got their time to shine.
At Redwood Christian High School in San Lorenzo, it took some creativity to handle graduation during the coronavirus lockdown. Like everything in this pandemic, it involved a little coordination, some technology and a lot of community.
What the proceedings lacked in thunderous applause and cheers, they made up for in ingenuity and love.
Over the span of three days, each graduate from the Redwood Christian High Class of 2020 got a ten minute slot to position their immediate family, walk across a red carpet and hear school superintendent Dr. Al Hearne read about their accomplishments from a so-called brag sheet.
Family members then handed their graduate a sanitized and disinfected diploma.
The whole thing was captured on video. The presentations to all 69 graduates will be edited together and then live streamed next week to give it as close to that “normal” graduation feel as possible under the circumstances.
“At first I definitely felt like I was the only one in the world facing this,” said graduate Nathan Nguyen. “But once I wrapped my mind around the fact that millions of kids around the world are facing this as well, it takes my eyes off my situation and how fortunate I am and focus on the greater good of the whole world instead of just myself.”
Dr. Hearne said he felt it was the least the school could do for the Class of 2020.
“This is for our kids. This is our graduates, our seniors. They have been through so much,” said Dr. Hearne. “Senior year was supposed to be the best time of high school. The spring is where you’re supposed to have the most fun, and it was taken from them. So if we can do this to bring some joy in their life, why wouldn’t we?”
The virtual commencement is giving Redwood Christian High seniors one final lesson in adaptability and gratitude.