Update: In-Person High School Graduations to take place at local stadiums

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Above – A recent photo of Newnan High School’s Drake Stadium, site of NHS graduation on May 27.

From Coweta County Schools Press Release

Newnan High School Principal Chase Puckett and Coweta Superintendent Evan Horton announced Friday that Newnan High Schools seniors will graduate in-person in Drake Stadium this year.

The announcement was made after Puckett and Horton met with Newnan High students and parents to coordinate plans for 2021 graduation ceremonies.  The high school’s annual senior picnic will also be held on Monday, May 17 on the school’s baseball field, which has been cleared for use.  The Newnan High campus has been closed for inspection and repair since it was struck severely by the March 26 tornado.

The 2021 NHS commencement ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 27, in the high school’s stadium as originally planned, but will shift the commencement to 5 p.m. that day so the ceremony can be held during daylight hours since the March 26 storm damaged the field’s lighting.

This year’s high school graduations will all be in-person, on the schools’ home fields.  The dates and times are:

Newnan High School graduation will be held at 5 p.m., Thursday, May 27, at Drake Stadium

Northgate High graduation will be held at 7:30 p.m., Friday, May 28, at Henry Seldon Field

East Coweta Graduation will be split between two ceremonies:

7 p.m., Thursday, May 27 (for graduates with last names ending with A-K) at Shoemake Stadium

7 p.m., Friday, May 28 (for graduates with last names ending with L-Z) at Shoemake Stadium

All high schools will follow COVID protocols during this year’s commencement ceremonies similar to those followed during football season, with social distancing where possible and limited capacity in the stadiums.  East Coweta, which has the largest graduating class, is splitting their event to allow for more participants during the ceremonies.

More information on 2021 graduations, graduation tickets and parking, and other year-end events will be available on the high school’s websites.

“Throughout this it has been important to everyone that we honor our seniors appropriately, and this is a testament to a lot of hard work that’s gone on,” said Superintendent Evan Horton, during Friday’s announcement about NHS’s graduation.

Puckett said that the school and it’s partners have been working every day since the storm to evaluate the damage from the March 26 storm, and determine which parts of the campus are presently safe to use and what work will be needed to restore other parts of the campus.

Though progress has been made, “our campus is still a mess, and we have a long way to go,” said Puckett.  “But I can tell you that when the Newnan graduates walk out on this field, everyone is going to remember what it means to be a Newnan Cougar and why we say we are still Newnan Strong.”

More announcements about the work at and future plans for Newnan High School are expected in the coming weeks, as inspections and planning continue.

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