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WATCH NOW: St. Stephens 2020 graduation part 2

WATCH NOW: St. Stephens 2020 graduation part 2

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St. Stephens High School graduates over 200 seniors to conclude school year

Ending your senior year of high school isn’t the same without some type of celebration.

That’s what Tammy Yount said when asked about her daughter, Makayla, who is a St. Stephens High School 2020 graduate. The school held graduation ceremonies Friday evening and Saturday morning for 284 seniors in the school gym.

To view photos from Saturday's ceremony, scroll to the bottom of this article.

“I am just so thankful to Mr. Houston and (Catawba County Schools) and all the staff for allowing her to have a graduation,” Tammy said. “There were some tears shed when we didn’t know if she would have a graduation ceremony. This is 13 years in the making.”

Makayla was also grateful for the ceremony. “I’m super thankful that we’re having it; for the staff and teachers who helped put this together, and that we didn’t have to wait to have it. I’m really glad we can do this,” she smiled.

Thankfully for Makayla, she didn’t have too hard of a time with distance learning. “I’ve taken online classes before, but it has been difficult not seeing people face-to-face,” she said.

Elisa Lovejoy, business teacher at St. Stephens High School, had one word come to mind when thinking of high school graduation: Closure.

“I think this is important to them (the students),” Lovejoy said. “Think of the college students — they didn’t have this. They need that closure. Especially since they’ve been in school for 12 or 13 years straight.”

Instead of all 2020 seniors gathering as a mass, marching to an arena-like setting, and taking their turn walking across a stage, students and family members parked in cars outside of the gym. 

When they were called, the student and immediate family members walked into the gym where the student received their high school diploma while abiding by social distancing precautions.

Of the 284 graduates, 99 plan to attend a four-year university, 121 plan to attend a community college, seven plan to enter the U.S. Military, and 57 plan to directly enter the workforce.

The total amount of scholarship money earned by students was not available at press time. Many scholarship deadlines were pushed back due to COVID-19, said Principal Scottie Houston.


Emily Willis is a general assignment reporter at the Hickory Daily Record. 


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