Las Cruces area Seniors have mixed feelings about drive-through graduation

Las Cruces News

LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) — Las Cruces High School Seniors won’t walk across the stage for graduation. Instead, they will be driving across.

Many Seniors KTSM spoke with have mixed opinions about the planned graduation.

The graduations are scheduled at the Field of Dreams on the original graduation date assigned to each high school. However, graduates will not be allowed to get out of their cars.

Oñate High School Senior Megan Apodaca says she understands why she can’t have traditional graduation but thinks more could be done.

Apodaca says her Senior year was nothing like she had hoped. From not being able to play with the school band to prom being canceled and now drive-through graduation.

Megan Apodaca takes prom pictures at a distance.

“I think everyone’s Senior year experience has to be memorable in a certain way, and I know that the class of 2020 is memorable, maybe not in a good way,” said Megan Apodaca, an Oñate High School Senior. “There’s been so many different things that we haven’t been able to experience.”

Las Cruces High School Principals, Las Cruces Police, and New Mexico State Police all discussed what was the best option for graduation during the pandemic.

Ultimately, they decided to the ceremony at the Field of Dreams with a unique set-up. Seniors can dress in their caps and gowns and decorate their cars. It’s a limit of one Senior per car with a maximum of four family members with them.

However, Megan Apodaca feels like the they forgot to ask Seniors what they wanted.

“If they’re having this event at the Field of Dreams, there is still going to be a large crowd over there. If they have the field of dreams secured, I think there could have been a ceremony they could have spread all the seniors out they’re not doing all six schools at once,” said Apodaca.

Las Cruces Public Schools says if the State of New Mexico relaxes their restrictions by May 15, then a different plan could be made.

“Under the current guidelines, we didn’t want to move forward with a plan that was a risk of being canceled,” said Kelly Jameson with Las Cruses Public Schools.

Another Oñate Senior, Clarivel Garcia, says she thought the idea of drive-through graduation was odd at first, but now she is all for it.

“This is a really sad and odd time we’re living in, and I’m grateful that we have a district that cares enough to organize something for us,” said Clarivel Garcia, an Oñate High School Senior.

Oñate Senior Clarivel Garcia.

Garcia says she hopes a traditional graduation can still happen in the future.

“I know this situation isn’t ideal for my class, but I’m still hopeful that we’ll have an actual graduation commencement once it is allowed,” said Garcia.

According to Las Cruces Public Schools, the drive-through ceremony will be streamed on the LCPS Facebook Page and the LCPS YouTube Channel.

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