Dukes of 2020 presented diplomas

Published 5:04 pm Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Stephen H. Cowles

Contributing Writer


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In accordance with the COVID-19 safety guidelines, the seniors of the Windsor High School Class of 2020 were able to receive their diplomas during a two-day ceremony last week.

For Cora Dent, that’s a relief.
“Finally, it’s over,” she exclaimed when asked about graduating on Monday morning. She acknowledged that last few months have been tough for her because the pandemic required online learning and social distancing restrictions. Not only did those keep her from school and friends, but also away from her job at Mattress Farm.

A daughter of Andrew Dent and Elizabeth Denoncourt, she is looking to eventually become a children’s therapist.

“It’s a relief,” echoed Jaylen Daugherty. The son of Shawn and Belinda Daugherty said he’s undecided about long-range plans.

Zaniyah Elam, daughter of Steven McClenny and Courtney Elam, said about graduating, “I was ready to be done!” She later got to visit family that afternoon. Norfolk State University is in her future, as is learning to become a nurse practitioner.

Grayson Chavis complimented the set-up of the ceremony as both fun and nice. A son of Mark Chavis and Candice Burnette, he’s considering Camp Community College and maybe even military service.

The graduates knew to arrive at certain times on Monday and Tuesday. As “Pomp and Circumstance” was played on speakers, WHS Athletic Director Chuck Parrish announced the names before they walked into a side entrance and made their way to the gymnasium. Principal Laura Sullivan was on the platform waiting for each to make his or her way across to get their hard-earned diploma.

For Katelyn Edwards, the ceremony was amazing. She said the last few months have been crazy because of the school closing. A daughter of Rodney Edwards and Crystal Bowers, she said there would be a party of sort later that day. She’s not yet decided on plans, but indicated college could be among them.

Lynn Briggs, spokeswoman for the Isle of Wight County Public Schools, confirmed that the ceremony was not a practice.

“However, we are still hoping to hold an in-person ceremony so they can celebrate with their classmates and more family members,” she said. “We would like to do that this summer. but plans of course are pending based on guidance from the state regarding large gatherings.”