Many seniors and their families are dealing with the disappointment of missing the fanfare that comes along with gradation day. One North Texas principal is trying to make up for that one stop at a time.
The miles are adding up for Dr. Scott Rudes, principal at Booker T. Washington High School in Dallas. But he said every single stop is well worth it.
“I’ve got about 375 miles on my car so far and this is day two,” he said.
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Over the course of 10 days, he will have personally visited 249 graduating seniors.
“I can say, that as a father of a senior of the class of 2020, I’m living it right along with the parents and the students,” said Rudes.
The seniors at Booker T. Washington, like so many other schools, were looking forward to all the rites of passage that come with being a graduate.
“As a parent, it’s a gut punch because you’re planning those graduation parties and all of the milestones that are part of your graduates’ journey,” said Rudes.
It’s why he got into his pickup dressed in ceremonial cap and gown to deliver a dose of encouragement.
“When I get to the house, we’re all masked up and we’re all sanitized, and I bring them their diploma cover and we have an opportunity to take a socially distanced picture,” he said. “Many of the places that I’ve shown up to, it’s been a mini-graduation ceremony with the red carpet and the backdrop and everything.”
It’s not the big stage and bright lights, but it’s a personal acknowledgment of a job well done.
“Even though we’re going through extraordinary times right now, they are extraordinary people and they’re worth this effort,” said Rudes.
NBC 5 learned the Dallas Arts District has planned a “senior car processional” on May 28 which will publicly acknowledge graduating seniors for their accomplishments.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.
**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.