I postponed a couple of blog ideas this week in favor of a personal moment that comes but once in each lifetime: Graduation from High School. And after the Classes of 2020 missed out on almost all year-end events and the Classes of 2021 missed out on so many events, both serious and fun, over the course of a whole school year, I feel it's important to record how Lake Mary High School, Seminole County, Florida, managed a genuine graduation ceremony for 690+ seniors.
They did it by everyone traveling c. 20 miles south to the football stadium at the University of Central Florida, where the ceremony could be held outdoors with plenty of room for "distancing" and the technical support of a massive video screen. And there they staged a truly grand occasion (live and videocast), including the Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem (performed in an fabulous arrangement by high school chorus members on video), Color Guard, recognition of veterans, all the classic speeches, plus student-made school-year videos, and finally each graduate receiving his/her diploma and crossing the stage, fist-bumping each VIP in the front row. (To wildly enthusiastic screams and yells from the family of each student as their names were called.)
After the inevitable photo session, we celebrated with lunch at Bahama Breeze, followed by cards and presents for the graduate: Hailey Hays Reale, who will begin her career at UCF next month.
With so many photographers in the family, I didn't make the effort. The following photos are from the Reale family, including Grampa Carlos, who managed to get a close-up of Hailey on the big screen as she received her diploma.
For a link to a video of Hailey getting her diploma, click here.
|New use for the 50-yard line|
|Hailey on the Big Screen|
|Hailey with Proud Parents|
|Hailey and the Grammas|
|Celebrating at Bahama Breeze|
|Hailey, Cassidy, Riley at Bahama Breeze|
|Hailey & Pos, 2003|
|Hailey on Ice, 2016|
|Hailey - Barracuda, 2018|
|Hailey - Senior Prom, 2021|
Hailey Hays Reale!
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|Available c. June 1|
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Thanks for stopping by,Grace/Blair Bancroft