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Durango High School seniors will graduate in-person

Ceremonies return to football field after last year’s parking-lot, drive-in event
Durango High School will hold in-person graduation ceremonies at 6 p.m. May 28 in the football stadium. Last year, because of COVID-19, a drive-in ceremony was held in the school’s parking lot. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

After holding a drive-in graduation ceremony in the middle of the school parking lot in 2020, Durango High School commencement ceremonies are looking much more traditional for 2021.

DHS will hold an in-person commencement ceremony for its 342 graduates at the school’s football stadium beginning at 6 p.m. May 28.

Some accommodations to minimize risk of transmission of the coronavirus will remain.

Each graduate will be limited to five guest tickets and households will be seated 6 feet apart from each other in the stands. Also, graduates will be required to wear face masks and remain socially distanced on the field during ceremonies.

In addition, groups of students will enter and exit the stadium organized by the alphabetical order of their last names to minimize the crush of people headed through or out of entryways at any one time.

Still, some things from the 2020 ceremony were enjoyed by families, students and the community and will remain. If family members are not able to attend the ceremony in-person, they should still be able to watch it online or listen to it on the radio.

Ceremonies will be broadcast by three Durango radio stations: KKDG 99.7-FM, KPTE 92.9-FM and KXRC 105.3-FM. Ceremonies will also be covered by Local News Network, and they will be livestreamed on 9-R’s Facebook page.

The broadcasts and livestreams are features that will likely be continued for future graduation ceremonies, said Julie Popp, 9-R spokeswoman.

“There are some cool things that came about last year at the graduation because of COVID, and we had to make these accommodations,” she said. “Now, we're going to continue with them because they were really popular.”

Each year, graduating seniors have a class meeting before the ceremony and are asked to sign agreements that they will show up on time, dress appropriately and behave appropriately during ceremonies; this year, the agreements will include provisions that they abide by COVID-19 measures as well, Popp said.

“Don’t You Forget About Me” by Simple Minds was chosen by seniors as the class song.

The class flower is the iris.

The class quote is: “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good, old days before you’ve actually left them,” from Andy Bernard, a character in “The Office.”


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