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Despite the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic created, 180 members of the Del Norte High School Class of 2020 joined with their families, teachers and other community members to celebrate graduation Friday evening, June 12.

School administrators and the district's Board of Trustees made a tremendous effort to allow students to have a traditional graduation, even taking the matter to state public health officials, but concern about large gatherings made it necessary for the school to stick with its "Plan B," a drive-through graduation.

Because of the public health restrictions, for the first time in 25 years, DNHS seniors were not allowed to graduate in the school's football stadium.

As a tribute to the students, two sets of 20 chairs, representing the class of 2020, were set up on the 50-yard line of the football field as a silent reminder of opportunities lost in the pandemic.

Still, a joyful mood prevailed, as students and their families drove around the field and cheered as graduates received their diplomas. With balloons, posters — and a few face masks — students and their families appeared to be enjoying one of their first chances to get together — albeit with social distancing — since school was shut down in mid-March because of the coronavirus.

The ceremony was live-streamed and can be watched on YouTube here

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