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King City
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September 30, 2020

King City High School celebrates Class of 2020 with drive-through graduation

KING CITY — Class of 2020 graduates from King City High School celebrated their completion of secondary education with a drive-through ceremony last Friday at the campus’ Broadway parking lot.

Students arrived in family vehicles, then walked up a stage with cardboard cutouts of dignitaries and received their diplomas before leaving the parking lot.

“I know the kids have been anxious, nervous and happy when they get out, and this is kind of a closure and culmination of their four years,” said Assistant Principal Michael Gray. “It was at least something we can give them for that closure, so they can walk across the stage and they can dress up.”

Gray said an estimated 80% of the graduates attended the July 31 in-person ceremony. The high school had hosted a virtual ceremony in June, followed by a celebration caravan that was organized by local parents.

“Not every student is still in town this late in the game to be here to participate in the ceremony,” Gray said. “It’s been a good turnout for those that have been here.”

Rather than go through as one giant ceremony, the drive-through graduation was broken into different time groups, and each of those was allowed onto campus about five cars at a time. Vehicles were staged across Broadway in the Mercado parking lot, and crossing guards helped stop traffic while graduate vehicles went into the high school parking lot.

Gray said students and families he talked to were appreciative.

Community members also organized a type of scavenger hunt, in which posters of graduates had been placed around the city. In addition, the high school itself placed large letters spelling “SENIORS” on the campus lawn at the corner of Broadway Street and Mildred Avenue that was used for photo-ops.

“We set that up to let the community know we honor our seniors,” Gray said. “I noticed some people decided to go take pictures with it.”

Sweatshirts were provided to graduates as a gift in addition to their getting a diploma. Some families decided to decorate their cars to make the event more festive. Gray noted one family who had a graduate that already went off to the military, but they showed up with a decorated car in honor of their soldier.

Graduates Adrian Alonzo (left) and Adrian Martinez receive their diplomas during the drive-through ceremony at the campus’ Broadway parking lot. (Photo by Sean Roney)
Sean Roney
Sean Roney
Sean Roney is the reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers education, government and general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.

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