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Class of 2021 celebrate: Schools announce plan for in-person graduation ceremonies

The Class of 2021 and their families have something to celebrate. The Vicksburg Warren School District is developing a plan to allow for in-person graduation ceremonies for each of the District’s three high schools in May.

While some of the plans for each school’s graduation remain in progress, the outline of the ceremonies has been unveiled.

Last week, the District’s Board of Trustees approved a contract with the Vicksburg Convention Center to host the ceremonies that will be held May 26 through May 28.

There will be a limited number of guest tickets per graduate issued for friends and family. Officials were also quick to say that plans are subject to change “at any time as social distancing guidelines and other mandates are updated.”

The first graduation scheduled will be for the 65 graduates at River City Early College High School. Their ceremony is tentatively scheduled for May 26 at 6 p.m.

For Warren Central’s estimated 235 graduates, their ceremonies will be divided into five ceremonies on May 27 to allow for people to attend and still meet current mandates. Ceremonies are tentatively scheduled for 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Vicksburg High School’s graduating class of 185 will be divided among three ceremonies on May 28, with ceremonies tentatively scheduled for 11:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The contract with the convention center also includes May 25 to allow for graduation practices.

“It is so exciting to see not just a glimmer of light but a beacon at the end of this tunnel,” Annette Kirklin, executive director of the Vicksburg Convention Center, said. “[District officials] have been living and breathing all of the restrictions and limitations like us and coming up with a working plan for the district has and will be rewarding to see family members be there when their loved ones walk across the stage of the VCC.”

After the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic last spring, many events were canceled or remade into virtual events. School and District officials coordinated a virtual graduation for each member of the Class of 2020, where each student was videoed receiving their diploma. Those snippets were then compiled into an overall graduation ceremony that was shared with students and on social media.

About Tim Reeves

Tim Reeves, and his wife Stephanie, are the parents of three children, Sarah Cameron, Clayton and Fin, who all attend school in the Vicksburg Warren School District. The family are members of First Baptist Church Vicksburg. Tim is involved in a number of civic and volunteer organizations including the United Way of West Central Mississippi and serves on the City of Vicksburg's Riverfront Redevelopment Committee.

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