In-person graduation, senior prom announced by WCHS
Woodford County High School’s Class of 2021 will have an in-person
graduation and prom, WCHS Principal Morgan Howell told the Sun Friday.
The commencement ceremony is scheduled Saturday, May 29, at 10 a.m. at
the Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena. Each graduate may be restricted
to having only four family members at the ceremony if capacity remains
at 35 percent. However, that may rise to as many as seven guests if
capacity gets increased to 50 percent, Howell said. “That’s what we’re
hoping for,” he added.
The senior prom will happen Saturday, May 15, from 8 p.m. to midnight,
on Court Street in downtown Versailles.
“When we were brainstorming different outdoor venues for our prom this
year, I wanted to make sure we selected a spot that was authentic to
Versailles yet one that would be fun too,” Nikki Mooney, prom sponsor,
wrote in an email.
During this very challenging year, “We really wanted to ensure that our
seniors still had the opportunity to make some special memories,” she added.
Graduating seniors (approximately 325) may have one guest who must
attend WCHS, Howell said. Restricting attendees to only WCHS students
will make it easier to contact trace if an issue arises related to
positive cases of the coronavirus, he explained.
“We wanted it to be a little bit smaller,” he said, “which is why we
made it seniors only (instead of being a junior-senior prom).
Prom for the Class of 2020 was scheduled at the Kentucky Castle a year
ago, but was canceled because of the COVID pandemic. When that indoor
location was not an option again this year, WCHS switched gears in order
to create more space for social distancing, Howell said.
“We were looking for an outdoor venue … with all of the restrictions due
to COVID,” he said.
Mooney thanked Versailles Mayor Brian Traugott, Versailles Police Chief
Mike Murray and the Court Street and Main Street business owners for
working with “us as we prepared for such a special occasion.”
While graduation and prom will be different than in past years, students
in the Class of 2021 are still excited.
“I am super excited to have a prom this year,” wrote WCHS Senior Class
President Katie Gatewood in an email. “I personally haven’t had a chance
to go to prom and I was stoked to hear that the community was coming
together to make prom happen!
“Even though Covid will require certain guidelines to be followed, prom
will be so much fun!” She thanked parents and teachers at WCHS for
“helping make the senior class have an amazing last year!”
“Our students,” said Mooney, “are eager to regain some sense of normalcy
after such an unprecedented year. Since we weren’t able to have a
Homecoming or Jacket Fest this year, we’re hoping to make their senior
prom a memorable one.”
When he made the announcement about graduation and prom at WCHS last
Friday, Howell said he heard a lot of thank-yous and yeses from students
in the front office.
“They were relieved in a sense, and overall enthusiastic,” he said.
“You like delivering good news …”
Katie acknowledged graduation will be a different experience for
everyone. “… Although it won’t be like it was a couple years ago,” she
said, “it won’t have to be virtual and we will still be able to share
the experience with our family and our class.”
Since returning to in-person classes in January, Howell said WCHS
students have been “fantastic” about wearing their masks and following
other healthy at school guidelines.
“Is it perfect? No. It’s not perfect. But do I think overall they’ve
done a really good job and embraced some of the restrictions that we’ve
had to put in place? I do,” he said.
“It’s tough going seven-and-a-half hours a day … minus a mask break here
and there, with a mask on …”
He said his faculty and staff are likely more at ease since being able
to get a COVID vaccine and also because they have a better understanding
of the procedures in place to help keep everyone safer at school.