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Edison Tech recognizes Class of 2020, holding out for traditional ceremony

Patrick Moussignac
Updated: June 23, 2020 06:34 PM
Created: June 23, 2020 06:29 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The ceremony is a lot smaller, but the excitement of graduating from high school remains the same. 

This week students from both Edison Tech High School, and its Pathways To Technology Program are putting on their caps and gowns, and receiving their diplomas. News10NBC heard from students on their big day.  

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It's one of the lasting effects of the pandemic, but it's not stopping Edison Tech High School from recognizing its Graduating Class of 2020. 

Jocelyn Pratt wishes that she could celebrate with her graduating classmates.

"A little sad about it, but you know at least we had one. At least we all made it," Pratt said.

Kevin Jackson gladly accepted what he worked for over the last four years.

"I accomplished my goal," Jackson said. "I had a rough road, but still I made it through. I did it."

Since state guidelines stipulate that gatherings can't exceed more than 25 people it was impossible to have a traditional ceremony for students, and their families, plus all the school staff members. 

In fact, the virus almost canceled all graduations. School staff turned some hallway space into an area with a stage for students to walk across, and a spot for family pictures. 

"It felt good to see them get their own little, personal little celebration. Something that we normally don't do, and to see how proud they are of themselves, and their families to be excited," Latresha Fuller, Director P-Tech Program said.

Jackson says this scaled-down ceremony works for him.

"I was expecting that we was about to just graduate in the gymnasium, but like I said it’s better than nothing," Jackson said. 

To these students receiving their diploma, and walking across the stage is far better than just receiving it in the parking lot. Parents support that.

"He worked hard you know just kept grinding, grinding, and with the Covid-19, didn't think this would happen," Kelvin Jackson said.

Same with his wife Adrian.

"Very proud, he's my last one. He graduated. I thought it was going to be like the rest of my kids, but at least he graduated. I seen him walk across the stage is very important," she said.

Starting Wednesday the rest of Edison Tech's Graduating Class will receive their diplomas and starting on Friday, the state will allow graduations with up to 150 people. 

Schools across Monroe County are waiting for new guidelines from Albany as they make some plans for a more traditional ceremony.

Pittsford Schools did release information on their website about hosting a combined graduation at Frontier Field on July 22, but now those plans are on hold. 

News10NBC asked Commissioner of Public Health Dr. Michael Mendoza where the county stands on graduations.

"I do know the Governor's Office is looking at this very closely with Phase Four at the earliest coming later this week. I will be anticipating additional guidance, and I think we're all waiting to see what happens," Mendoza said. 

Edison Tech is waiting too before making plans for a traditional ceremony.

"I would definitely be someone that would look into possibly doing something on a larger scale with all of the graduates. We plan on when things are released, and try to bring all our graduates back together," Principal Jacob Scott said.


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