Durant High School senior Mattie Powers participated in the school’s drive-through graduation last month.

By Faith Miller

These past few months have been nothing short of hard on 2020 graduates. So, when it came time for seniors to receive their diplomas, they were finally able to breathe a sigh of relief.

During the week of July 13-17, Durant High School gave seniors the opportunity to drive through the school one last time and receive their diplomas. The students were offered two days and options for how to receive their diplomas.

The first option was for the students to arrive during their assigned time on July 13 and drive up to the school bus ramp to receive their diplomas while not having to exit their vehicles. The second option took place on July 14, where each senior was able to dress up in their cap and gown and take a photo with their school principal, Gary Graham.

While still implementing social distancing, seniors and their families were requested to drive a designated route through the school parking lot to where the senior would then receive instructions on when to exit their vehicle and proceed to the pickup area.

Once exiting the vehicle, the student would then follow the instructions of the school administrators guiding them through the process from when they received their diploma to when it was time to take their picture.

The student would then receive their diploma and walk over to the designated area where the principal and a photographer would be ready to snap a picture, then return to their vehicle.

When asked about the event, seniors were happy to respond.

Mattie Powers is graduating with honors at Durant and was involved in many clubs and participated in the photo option for picking up her diploma.

She stated, “It feels amazing that I have finally received my diploma. Considering what a crazy year 2020 has been, it was a nice relief to finally get it.”

She also felt that, considering the fact the in-person graduation was canceled, this was a “nice alternative” and that the school did a good job making sure everyone stayed socially distanced.

When asked about whether she had any inspiring words for the class of 2020, she commented that even though this pandemic has been a struggle, she feels it is a “blessing in disguise” and has taught people to “appreciate what we have and to not take it for granted.”

While this year has thrown many curveballs at the class of 2020, many are appreciative to have finally received their diplomas and start the next chapter in life.