Thirty-seven graduates will receive their high school diplomas Friday night, May 22nd, at Larry Mitchel Stadium in Eldorado, provided the weather allows. It will be a service unlike any ever held before.

EHS Principal Perry Graves explains that the ceremony will be held outdoors, and in compliance with the State of Texas social distancing guidelines, due to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.

Many schools across the state have canceled their commencement exercises due to the pandemic, but schools like EHS, primarily in remote rural areas, are allowed to hold outdoor services.

“We have a plan in place that follows the social distancing rules in an effort to keep everyone safe,” Graves said.

Only graduates, invited guests, and school officials will be allowed to enter the stadium and they will be directed to assigned seating areas.

Each graduate is allowed to invite nine guests, four of whom will be allowed to sit on the football field in family groups, separated from other groups by distance.

The remaining invitees will be directed to assigned seats in the home stands or visitor stands. Those seating areas will also be divided into family groups and separated from other groups by distance.

The graduates will sit on the field, facing a stage at the east end of the stadium. There the class salutatorian and valedictorian, Emmie Grace Mynatt and Benjamin McGee, will deliver their respective addresses.

Departing from tradition, the graduates will not receive their diplomas from school officials. Instead, their parents will come forward to present the diplomas and move the tassel on the graduate’s cap, signifying the completion of their high school education.

Following the ceremony, the graduates will leave the field first, and spread out in an arc around the east end of the track for the traditional hat toss.

Speaking of the plan for the service, Perry Graves credited the school faculty and staff for coming up with a meaningful graduation ceremony.

“Under the current situation we wanted to make this graduation as special as we can for the class of 2020 and their parents,” EHS Principal Graves said of the unorthodox plan. “Both the graduates and parents have missed out on all the little ‘lasts’ of the spring semester, we felt this had to be memorable for everyone.”

For those unable to attend, the event will be live-streamed on the high school’s facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/eldoradotxhighschool

In the even of inclement weather, the graduation ceremony will be held at 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 23rd.