Fannin graduation plans announced

  • Zachary Nelson walks across Fannin County High School football field to receive his diploma during a private graduation ceremony Monday, May 11. The event was part of school officials’ plans to make graduation a memorable event for seniors amid COVID-19. A traditional ceremony is planned for May 22.
    Zachary Nelson walks across Fannin County High School football field to receive his diploma during a private graduation ceremony Monday, May 11. The event was part of school officials’ plans to make graduation a memorable event for seniors amid COVID-19. A traditional ceremony is planned for May 22.
  • Abigail O’Neal stands ready before walking the Fannin County High School football field to receive her diploma during a private graduation ceremony. Assistant Principal Scott Ramsey stands at the podium to announce each graduate.
    Abigail O’Neal stands ready before walking the Fannin County High School football field to receive her diploma during a private graduation ceremony. Assistant Principal Scott Ramsey stands at the podium to announce each graduate.
  • Haley Parks accepts her diploma from Fannin County High School Principal Erik Cioffi during a private graduation ceremony.
    Haley Parks accepts her diploma from Fannin County High School Principal Erik Cioffi during a private graduation ceremony.
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Fannin County High School intends to hold a traditional, but modified, graduation ceremony for the class of 2020 at the school’s stadium Friday, May 22, at 8 p.m.

“I would love nothing more than to have our full traditional graduation ceremony at FCHS on May 22,” Principal Erik Cioffi said. “After consulting with our local leaders and following guidelines, as of today, May 6, 2020, it is our hope that we can create and celebrate graduation through various formats that our senior class of 2020 will cherish for a lifetime.”

Each graduating senior will be issued two guest tickets for the ceremony.

All guests will be required to wear a mask, however graduates may remove their masks during their walk or while they are giving speeches. 

All guests will be required to follow social distancing guidelines by being six feet apart. According to Cioffi, local law enforcement will be present to “monitor and ensure full cooperation for the safety of all guests.”

All visitors will have their temperature taken using a forehead thermometer upon entry to the stadium by local Emergency Management Services. 

“Anyone who has a temperature reading of over 100 degrees will not be permitted to enter,” Cioffi said.

440 guests will be able to be seated “safely” because both the visitor stands and the home stands will be used for the ceremony. 

Graduates will be assigned seating on the field from the 50 yard line to end zone, and all graduates will face the scoreboard.

Following the event, students will be dismissed to the visiting parking lot. Guests will then be dismissed from the stands. Guests will be required to park on the main campus, and students will need to park behind the visitor stadium. 

“In order for this event to be successful, all students and guests must adhere to the above guidelines,” Cioffi said. 

The event will be live streamed at www.fanninrebeltv.com for all extended family and community members to watch.

Graduation rehearsal will take place Wednesday, May 20, and all graduates will be required to attend.

Honor graduates rehearsal starts at 9 a.m. and  remaining graduate candidates rehearsal starts at 10:30 a.m.

Each graduate will need to park behind the visitor stadium and report to the stadium field upon arrival, wear a mask,  follow social distancing guidelines and have their temperature taken upon entering the stadium. 

Any graduate who has a temperature reading of over 100 degrees will not be permitted to enter.

If inclement weather occurs May 22, the event will be rescheduled for May 23 at 10 a.m.

The high school also held an event May 11 through 13 to allow seniors to have a “private graduation ceremony” with up to 15 guests. A photographer took photos, and a video of each graduates walk was recorded to be used at a later date in the event that a virtual ceremony is needed.