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Graduation to look a little different for special senior class
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Due to social distancing guidelines, students won’t be packed in this tightly for Warren County High School graduation, set for Friday night at Nunley Stadium. School officials say 420 students are expected to receive their diplomas.
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WCHS senior Nolan Hillis gets his temperature taken as he prepares to enter Nunley Stadium for graduation practice Thursday afternoon. - photo by Lisa Hobbs

An estimated 420 students are expected to become high school graduates Friday night as Warren County High School holds its annual ceremony at Nunley Stadium.

Graduation is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. and only those with a wristband will be allowed to enter the stadium due to social distancing concerns.

“It’s important for these seniors to walk the stage and be recognized,” said WCHS executive principal Clark George.

The traditional handshake will be bypassed, but students will get to walk the stage sans handshake and be cheered by their family members.

Bobby Cox will be presiding over the ceremony, his last official duty as outgoing director of schools. His daughter Savannah will be graduating.

Valedictorian Emme Smith and salutatorian Mary Humphrey will deliver speeches.

Four wristbands will be given to each graduating senior to distribute to family members and friends. Gates will open at 5 p.m. and graduates will enter through the ticket gate by the main gym entrance of Warren County Middle School.

Students should go directly to their assigned seats on the field and they must stay seated. Temperatures will be taken. All graduates are to be seated by 6:15 p.m.

As family members are admitted to Nunley Stadium, temperatures will be taken and families will be directed to the next available seating location.

Only graduates, faculty in graduation regalia and other essential employees will be allowed on the track or field. Handicapped parking will be available in the lot immediately next to the stadium. All other parking will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.

For those unable to attend the ceremony, it will be broadcast on the PBS affiliate WCTE. In a press release, WCTE said it will be broadcasting the ceremony live beginning at 7 p.m. and also streaming it on its Facebook page.

“Not all family and friends will have the opportunity to be at the commencement ceremony, but with WCTE’s broadcast they can watch from their homes and still be a part of the big day,” said WCTE director of production Brent Clark.