NewsHillsborough County


Tampa Bay area schools will hold in-person graduation ceremonies with COVID restrictions

Graduations Hillsborough
Posted at 6:10 PM, Mar 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-11 05:30:42-05

HILLSBOROUGH, Fla. — It’s been a challenging year for many students, including Carla Gormon's children.

“They’ve been super troopers this entire time. Honestly, they’ve been champs. They get up every morning without fail and do their work,” said Carla Gormon.

Her daughter Anya is graduating from Hillsborough High School. A huge milestone, particularly in a year that’s been so unpredictable.

“There’s a lot of things that we have lost out on this year, but having graduation just makes it a little bit more OK,” said Anya Gormon, senior at Hillsborough High School.

Hillsborough County Public Schools is having in-person ceremonies at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall. Masks will be required with socially distanced seating and seniors will be able to bring only two guests. The same goes for Manatee County.

“We’re going to do a watch party, maybe at the house for all my family members that are coming out of town, so they’ll be able to see me walk across the stage since they won't be able to attend the graduation,” said Jayla Troupe, senior at Hillsborough High School.

Pasco and Polk County schools will also hold in-person graduations with each graduate allowed to have four guests attend.

“Temperature checks, social distancing, zoned check in times for those celebrations,” said Tami Dawson, regional assistant superintendent for high schools.

Each of the five high schools in Hernando County will hold two outdoor ceremonies, in order to reduce the number of people in attendance.

Parents say they’re thankful to be able to witness this rite of passage.

“It’s great, yeah I’m very happy,” Gormon said.