High school seniors react to Gainesville Raceway graduation for Alachua County Public Schools

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ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. (WCJB)--- Graduation ceremonies have come in many different forms across North Central Florida this year. Now the Alachua County school board decided their high school grads will walk across the stage at Gainesville raceway.

After months of uncertainty and online classes all due to COVID-19, the graduating high school classes of Alachua County public schools will finally be able to turn over their tassels and toss their caps.

One Gainesville high graduate says, "A lot of seniors probably not liking it right now."

At Gainesville raceway, seniors will drive up to the track and once their name is called walk across the stage.
The senior added, 'it's been tough because I haven't been wanting to do anything without my parents here with me"

Daranae Donley is a graduate of Gainesville high. She lost both parents while in high school and wishes the school board would have waited to have in-person graduation instead.
"But now we have to get out of the car, it's just one person getting out the car and get our diploma. I mean I'm happy I'm getting my diploma but everyone's not going to be there to watch."

Alachua County Superintendent says this approach allows seniors to graduate in person while maintaining social distance.
Yet, Newberry High student body president Micah Page says social distance would be easier in the rural community of Newberry.
"But we know that they tried their best and they looked at many options and they went with the decision that was safe"

And to sum up his senior year in one word, it would be, "Unique, I don't think any class before us or after us can compare to what we've gone through and what we will be like after this. It's definitely a difference but I feel as if it'll make us better"

Families will be able to watch their graduate walk across the stage from the safety of their own cars.
The schedule of ceremonies:

June 8: Newberry High School, 9-11 a.m.
Hawthorne High School, 2-3:30 p.m.
PAM@Loften High School, 6-7:30 p.m.

June 9: Eastside High School, 9:30-noon
Buchholz High School, 5-7:30 p.m.

June 10: Santa Fe High School, 9:30-noon
Gainesville High School, 5-7:30 p.m.