The Odessa Record -

By Jeremy Burnham
The Times 

Drive-through graduation on tap in Davenport

Pre-recorded ceremony set for parking lot


Last updated 5/21/2020 at 12:40pm

Jeremy Burnham | The Times

DAVENPORT - COVID-19 has made 2020 an unusual year for everyone. Few people, however, have been more affected by the virus than high-school seniors, who are missing much of their senior year.

Students at Davenport High School, however, will at least get to attend some form of a high-school graduation, the school announced recently.

The school has planned a pre-recorded drive-in ceremony at the Lincoln County Public Works parking lot.

Principal Chad Prewitt says the plan is a result of team effort of school staff, parents, the community and local officials alike.

"I know everyone is proud of their communities," Prewitt said. "But this community, is amazing. The support is fantastic. We have a parent graduation planning committee and I can't give them enough credit for making things happen."

Prewitt also said the city council and county board of commissioners were key in helping get things in place.

Videographer and local community member Apollos Griffin has been hired to put together the video ceremony.

"Apollos has had a lot of things thrown at him to make this a special video," Prewitt said. "He has just been amazing to work with."

A senior slide show, commencement speeches and students -in full cap in gown- walking to get their diplomas are all being recorded in advance.

Staff will start letting cars park at 7 p.m. Students and their families are welcome to attend. Once everyone is parked, the video will play. Prewitt says the video is expected to be around 45 minutes to an hour long. He says Griffin has been hard at work at making it special.

"I don't even know everything that's going to be in it," Prewitt said.

Missing from the evening will be any form of live interaction, as the video will be filmed in advance. This is due to guidelines mandated by the state.

"We want to be respectful of the governor and the Lincoln County Health District," Prewitt said.

However, the school is planning on replicating s the excitement of a live walk with a senior parade the next afternoon at 3 p.m. where seniors will drive by and be cheered on by the community.

Prewitt said some form of allowing the community to get involved and appreciate the seniors was a must.

"The community here really rallies around the youth," Prewitt said.

Lincoln County is currently in Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee's four-phase plan to reopen the state.

All plans for the drive-in graduation follow Phase 2 guidelines. While the governor has not provided any timetable for when counties can apply to jump to Phase 3, it is possible that could happen by June 5. If this is the case,

Prewitt said the graduation organizers have a few plans in place to expand the ceremony as allowed in phase three, but that all of the focus right now is on putting on the best graduation ceremony possible under Phase 2 restrictions.


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