Graduating seniors of Booneville High School were permitted to pick up their diplomas between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Thursday. All but seven of them did so.

During the four-hour window Class of 2020 students arrived with parents shooting pictures or filming from behind the wheel, by themselves, or in groups of two or three together.

One even rode atop a vehicle via a removed sunroof.

In a process approved by state officials, students were permitted to exit the vehicle for a quick photo shoot with signs bearing their name that were on the school lawn, and a more formal drape with the school name and Bearcat mascot.

Seeing to it state mandated limitations were observed, school resource officer Norman Wilder was in attendance with BHS employees principal Amy Goers, counselor Ginger Ulmer, and ALE principal Barbette Smithson, during the diploma dispersal.

All school employees wore masks and gloves, as required by state officials, as would superintendent Trent Goff when he arrived to participate.

Thursday was the day commencement exercises were scheduled but all graduation ceremonies have been halted through June 30 by state officials.

At 8 p.m. Thursday — the time the ceremony would have began — the lights and canon at Bearcat Stadium were activated in recognition of the class.

The lighting included skyward beams from a rotating device parked in the southwest corner of the stadium, much like you might see with a big Hollywood movie premier. The shooting light beams were visible from the city limits of neighboring Magazine.

A traditional graduation has been set for Bearcat Stadium at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 16.

Though not a school event a parade of seniors through downtown was also announced for next week with seniors meeting at the library about 5:30 p.m. on May 23, for a 6 p.m. start.

The parade will follow the traditional Christmas and homecoming day routes with the seniors driving along Main Street to the stoplight at Broadway, turning right and continuing to the the former Bearcat parking lot where there will be pizza and drinks for the graduates.

[Booneville Democrat]