Centennial High School Class of 2020 commencement to be streamed
The Centennial High School class of 2020 will graduate from high school in a way the school has never been done it before.
This year's commencement will be held virtually and streamed online at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, June 27, because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Gov. Mike DeWine originally announced that all Ohio schools would close in mid-March, initially for a three-week period, but that eventually was extended to the remainder of the academic year.
"A lot of people are still hurt because we didn't have prom or graduation," senior Naa Dromo Korley said. "People are frustrated, and that has caused a lot of parents to step up and kind of plan their own celebrations or little things to help our seniors and make them feel appreciated."
Korley, the class president, said she plans to study medical anthropology at Ohio State University. She addressed her classmates in the school's pre-recorded commencement that will graduate 185 students.
"We're a part of history," she said. "Our class is very unique, and all the stuff is happening in 2020 is shaping us and helping us to be more respectful of life and each other -- and definitely bringing out a lot of leaders and leadership and change."
NBC Today's Al Roker, ABC journalist Deborah Roberts and motivational speaker Eric Thomas also will speak during the recording.
The ceremony will feature a personal touch. Centennial High School principal Stephanie Porta said students submitted a photograph of themselves in their cap and gown to be shown during the ceremony.
A photo montage of the past year will be included in the video, which is something the school hasn't done before.
Class historian Hajira Dada will lead the class in the turning of the tassel and class vice president Jalen Ruff will lead the Stars in the Pledge of Allegiance.
"I just hope they have an opportunity to look back on their high school career and reflect on everything they've accomplished and how they have grown as people throughout high school and that they are ready to move onto the next step in their lives," Porta said.
The class has 10 valedictorians: Victoria Austin, Joy Ayinde, Rhian Jones, Kleo Kapaj, Areebah Khan, Korley, Logan Sherrod, Yaraslava Moret, Olabisi Peters and Evan Teeters. The class collectively was awarded $13.4 million in scholarships.
According to the district's website all graduation ceremonies for the high schools will be streamed live on the CCS Facebook page and YouTube channel, the Columbus Educational Access Channel, and WCBE radio (90.5 FM). The schedule for the commencements can be found online at ccsoh.us/Page/8079.