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Class of 2020 may walk in October

Cumberland High School (CHS) seniors were supposed to have walked across the stage this Friday to accept their diplomas, but the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has taken away that long-standing tradition from the county’s deserving students and other seniors across the nation.

While the school will be holding a virtual graduation, outgoing Cumberland County Public Schools (CuCPS) Superintendent Dr. Amy Griffin said the school division is holding out hope for a physical ceremony in October.

Griffin said Wednesday CuCPS will be celebrating the Class of 2020 with a virtual graduation ceremony Tuesday, May 26, at 6 p.m. The event will be streamed on the school’s website and will also be uploaded to YouTube.

However, she added a traditional graduation ceremony has been scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 10 at 10 a.m. in the CHS gym as long as social gatherings are permitted at that time.

Griffin, who announced her retirement earlier this year, expressed her admiration of this year’s senior class, as well as her dismay in the social restrictions keeping the seniors from having a typical ceremony this Friday.

“I have known the graduating Class of 2020 since they were in pre-kindergarten when I was their elementary principal,” Griffin said. “I have watched them grow into the wonderful young adults that they are today. They have done amazing things during their time at Cumberland County Public Schools. From serving as the school board student liaison, being on the Superintendent’s Student Panel, holding offices such as FFA President, winning national FFA awards, participating in our first Dukes Discover passion projects, recommending changes at CuCPS such as adding middle school baseball and softball, to competing in state athletic competitions — the Class of 2020 has left a legacy to the students following in their footsteps.

“This is a bittersweet moment. My heart breaks that the Class of 2020 is not walking across the stage this Friday in front of a gym packed full of family and the educators that have been with them throughout their childhood. With no Senior Project Day nor Senior Night, I feel the 2019-2020 school year is incomplete. However, I have so much happiness and pride for this class. They have already contributed so much and have a great future.

“To the Cumberland High School Class of 2020 — I love and miss you immensely. I am so proud of you and know that you will do great things. Please stay in touch. You will always be a Cumberland Duke.”