North Side High School in Fort Worth held a drive-thru award ceremony for 380 graduating seniors Monday, complete with a parade and cheers from teachers and administrators who lined the parking lot.
“It feels great that my school would do something like this,” senior Michael Delgado said.
North Side High School usually holds the yearly ritual inside.
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But this isn't an ordinary year.
Or an ordinary ceremony.
"We've never had anything like this,” teacher Tracey Cravens said. “It sort of reminds me of our Homecoming parade."
Teachers spread out along the route.
The graduates drove by one by one, many in cars decorated for the occasion, each honored and cheered.
"As great as Zoom and our virtual technology is, it's so great to see people in person and celebrate our kids,” assistant principal Melissa Rincon said.
Sebastian Martinez, the valedictorian, who balanced homework with mariachi performances before he went on springs break and, like everyone else, never returned to school.
"I miss seeing my friends every day and saying hi,” Martinez said.
For both students and teachers, this was the first time many have seen each other since early March.
Martinez is heading to Texas A&M in the fall where he will study mechanical engineering.
"To all the seniors, congratulations,” Martinez said. “We've basically graduated amid a pandemic.”
*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.