Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is celebrating the class of 2020 with virtual ceremonies, parades and drive-thru diploma pickups. Here are the highlights from Butler High School’s virtual ceremony:
What the class president said:
Kothai Kochi wished classmate Bobby McKeithen was alive to celebrate graduation, but she noted he was still there in spirit. McKeithen was shot and killed inside the school by a fellow student in 2018. Kochi felt the last semester of school, including prom and an in-person graduation, was “torn away” from her class due to COVID-19. She said the seniors are used to facing challenges.
“This is one more thing we add to our list,” Kochi said. “One more thing we successfully endured before graduating.”
What the valedictorian said:
Jacob Ferebee highlighted some of the setbacks, like McKeithen’s death and the departure of former principal John LeGrand, who left the school in December to assume a new role within CMS.
“We may be the only class ever to not have a real graduation, but to end off on a good note and put some light on the situation, I wanted to let you know that today is the official goodbye to high school,” Ferebee said. “We may be moving forward, but we will always be Bulldogs.”
What the principal said:
Vincent Golden defined the class as resilient because of their strength and courage during challenging times, and their ability to bounce back from disappointment. He assured the seniors out of every trial in life there is a triumph.
“COVID-19 cannot define your greatness or minimize the accomplishment of graduating,” Golden said. “It can only make you stronger and prepare you for the many other challenges in life as a college student, as a working adult and as a productive citizen in our society.”