With all of the other schools in Colusa County allowing for an in-person graduation ceremony, Williams was the last district to allow it to happen. The reason for this: PARENTS. At about 4 PM on Thursday, the day before graduation, Melissa Burnett, a senior parent, got the call that the kids and parents had been praying for – the district would allow an in-person graduation ceremony if the parents could get it organized. Within minutes, senior parents as well as their students had group texts, Snapchat stories and Facebook messenger group chats opened up and the planning began.
At 10 AM the next morning, a group of senior parents met with the superintendent and principal to go over basic guidelines (to include social distancing). Because the parents were well-organized, chairs and a podium had already been requested, and parents and students met at the football field and had graduation set up by 1 PM. Set up wasn’t just setting up chairs in a straight line, it included making sure that each student would be six feet apart, as well as those who would be in the stands.
I would like to give a sincere thank you to Mr. Welcome, of Williams High School. It wouldn’t be fair in all of this to not mention the virtual side of graduation. Mr. Welcome worked tirelessly to make sure that graduation would run smoothly virtually, and to have switched it to an in-person graduation (with a mere 24 hour notice!) really threw a wrench into his plans. However, Mr. Welcome was able to make changes, and live-stream the graduation. Relatives near and far were still able to attend virtually, and if not, a YouTube video was made available to watch later.
In closing, I would once again like to thank the parents and the students of the Williams High School Class of 2020. It took a lot of hard work and determination, emails and phone calls, but because of your perseverance, your dreams of walking at graduation were fulfilled. Speaking for all parents and families, WE ARE PROUD OF YOU!
Kathleen Bautista, on behalf of the senior parents, WHS Class of 2020