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Collinsville High School gives memorable graduation with drive-thru diploma ceremony

"We recognize what the class of 2020 has accomplished and that’s what we’re trying to show today."

COLLINSVILLE, Ill — Saturday morning, hundreds of students were supposed to walk across the stage in Collinsville. But COVID-19 put a halt for the graduation in the gymnasium at Collinsville High School.

In order to make it as close to a traditional Kahok ceremony, administrators worked hard the last 10 days to create a virtual and in person commencement.

"About two weeks ago, the state issued new guidance that allowed us to do what they are doing today," Superintendent Brad Skertich said.

With strict guidelines, staff wore masks and diplomas were wiped down.

"We recognize what the class of 2020 has accomplished and that’s what we’re trying to show today," Skertich said.

Instead of walking across the stage, more than 400 seniors drove across campus, in caps and gowns.

"I was super upset when I found out we couldn't have a graduation and now this is an amazing thing that we have the drive up," senior Makenzie Kell said.

To prevent crowds, there was a one car per senior limit. Most cars were decorated and inside, families cheered on their graduate, as they stepped out.

Their smiles beamed at the camera and seniors walked through the halls for one last time. Getting their hands on a diploma, they worked hard for.

"Everyone cheering us on makes me feel great honestly," senior Tyler Hill said.

With a flip of a tassel, they've achieved another milestone. And they were able to receive a graduation on the go. One that will be hard to forget.

"We appreciate your hard work, but we also recognize we’re in hard times and we are doing our best to meet our student’s accomplishments as best as possible," Skertich said.

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