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WATCH NOW: Catawba Rosenwald 2020 Graduation

WATCH NOW: Catawba Rosenwald 2020 Graduation

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Catawba Rosenwald grad: I'm happy to be done

Graduations at the Catawba Rosenwald Education Center are typically more small and intimate than most other schools in the county. The effect was even more pronounced Friday.

To view photos, scroll to the bottom of this article.

The graduation for the class of 2020 was not a single ceremony but seven separate ones.

Restrictions limiting the number of people who could be in a room at one time meant that each graduate came in individually to walk across the stage and receive their diplomas.

The one moment where the class walked together came in a processional prior to the individual graduation ceremonies. 

Five seats were set up in the room several feet apart to allow room for family and other loved ones.

For graduate Payton Williams, it was a particularly emotional day.

“I’ve been through hell and back,” Williams said through tears. “I’ve been to four high schools just for this. I’m just happy to be done.”

She said she’d formed a strong bond with her classmates and said it was frustrating to not be able to all be together during the ceremony.

“Because I spent two years with all these kids and I couldn’t even watch them graduate, but we all did it,” Williams said.

Another graduate, Anesa Dean, said the school gave the students what they needed as far as the graduation set-up was concerned.

“It’s not a loss for the class because, I mean, we can always stay in contact with each other,” Dean said. “We can always have things after graduation.”

Though seven students walked, there were nine graduates in Rosenwald’s class of 2020.

Kevin Griffin is the City of Hickory reporter at the Hickory Daily Record.

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