Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, graduation and many graduation traditions at Derby High School were canceled.
But principal Tim Hamblin wants to retain some of these traditions, so a celebration weekend is in the works for 2020 graduates.
“No date has been set yet, but what activities are going to happen, we definitely know,” Hamblin said in a video released by DHS.
While out by the bell, Hamblin reminded graduates of their initiation at DHS.
“For many of you, this is where your high school experience began,” Hamblin said. “If you remember as a freshman, I had you gather around the bell and I told you its history… then I told you to do two things: I asked you to reach out and touch the bell so you could establish a connection to DHS, and I also asked that while you were touching the bell, you made a promise to yourself that you would do whatever it would take to graduate and then ring this bell four years later.”
The celebration weekend will start with an academic awards assembly in the auditorium, which will distribute awards such as honor chords, National Honor Society stoles, the medallion of knowledge and academic letters.
Next, there will be a cap and gown celebration practice and graduates will march out of the auditorium.
Students then will form a line to ring the bell and, once finished, lunch will be provided.
To end the weekend, the cap and gown celebration will be held on the field at Panther Stadium, and diplomas will be mailed within the first weeks of June.
The date will be set when it is safe to gather.
Lastly, Hamblin wished the class of 2020 well, and offers some advice:
“I do want you to know this: You are about to go into the real world, and some of you are prepared more than others… by going through DHS, there is no other place to prepare for the real world – things you have experienced during your time at DHS have prepared you for life,” Hamblin said. “Lots of things are going to happen in your life and those things happen for reasons you don’t understand, but you will do these things: if you work hard, play hard, love and laugh every day, you’re going to have a meaningful life.”