• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

In-person graduation, senior prom announced by WCHS


COURT STREET in downtown Versailles will provide an outdoor venue for the upcoming Woodford County High School senior prom. Tents will be set up in front of the Amsden building businesses and a DJ will play music in front of the Woodford County Courthouse Annex. (Photo by Bob Vlach)
COURT STREET in downtown Versailles will provide an outdoor venue for the upcoming Woodford County High School senior prom. Tents will be set up in front of the Amsden building businesses and a DJ will play music in front of the Woodford County Courthouse Annex. (Photo by Bob Vlach)

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.


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