74ºF

Orlando school finds creative way to honor graduating class

School figured out how to get students to walk across the stage

The First Academy in Orlando said that it found a creative way to honor their graduating class, which included walking across an actual stage.
The First Academy in Orlando said that it found a creative way to honor their graduating class, which included walking across an actual stage. (The DenBesten Family)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The First Academy in Orlando said that it found a creative way to honor their graduating class, which included walking across an actual stage.

The school said the entire ceremony took 13 hours to complete.

On May 15, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., students showed up at different times with up to seven guests. The groups moved to different stations set up inside the school, which included receiving their cap and gown and receiving their yearbook.

Brooks DenBeste, 18, said that his entire academic career has been at The First Academy and was worried about not having a graduation ceremony.

“I always was looking forward to the graduation experience. It was something I always was really excited about. Not being sure if I was going to have it, was sort of one of those things I was sad about," said DenBesten.

Head of School, Steve Whitaker said it was important to set up an actual stage and let the students hear their name read aloud.

“Letting people come in a little at times, it made it a long day, but we were able to manage the social distancing part of it," said Whitaker.

DenBesten's parents said that the graduation ceremony ended up being more memorable than two previous ceremonies they've attended for their other children.

“He has watched his brother and sister you know get to go through all these things, so I was sad about that, but it ended up being really such a great day," said Robin DenBesten.

The school said it is considering all options for the next school year, as it awaits direction from the governor.


About the Author: