Carbondale Community High School teachers honor seniors ahead of graduation

Updated: May. 11, 2020 at 8:56 PM CDT
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CARBONDALE, Il. (KFVS) - As a way to kick off graduation week, Carbondale Community High School seniors received a personal, special recognition.

Teachers and administrators lined up on Monday morning to pass out graduation yard signs and memorabilia to more than 200 seniors throughout the community.

Eleven routes and dozens of people in cars went door-to-door, surprising students and wishing them well on their academic accomplishments.

From Makanda to DeSoto, a parade of cars drove all of over city honking horns and cheering the seniors on from their car. Even neighbors in the surrounding community joined in on the celebrations.

With a bullhorn in hand and dressed in a cap and gown, high school principal Ryan Thomas personally hand-delivered the graduation signs.

“We are just trying to make it as special as possible,” Thomas said. “We know people are hurting right now, we know our seniors are sad about missing out on a lot of things from prom, to graduation, to sports, so we are trying to make it as fun and positive as possible.”

Filled with a lot of emotion and even surprise, students walked out their home excited to see the parade.

Senior Serenity Gause is graduating with a 4.0 and decided on East Illinois University.

She couldn’t believe it when she saw the parade.

“I was shocked and happy," she said. "I don’t love attention on me, but I was happy for this.”

While it may be just a sign for the yard, it means so much more to Gause.

“I was just thinking, I wasn’t going to get anything all year long. I thought I was going to get an email that said you graduated and that’s it," Gause said. "But I’m glad to see teachers and stuff.”

Miles Showalter walked out his house with his chest pridefully stuck out.

“It makes me a lot happier about the weird way senior year ended,” Showalter said, giving a thumbs up.

During a time of social distancing, Showalter said he was happy to see familiar faces.

“I went outside and turns out some of the teachers I’ve known for such a long time were like congratulating me and it was like ‘this is awesome',” he said.

No matter where life may take the seniors next, Mr. Thomas said he knows they will be ready for whatever life brings.

“Six months from now, six years from now, our seniors will look back at this time and hopefully it will make them better people because of it,” Thomas said.

CCHS will host a virtual graduation on Saturday, May 16th. The school will have a professional photographer at CCHS for drive up cap and gown pictures.

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