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Quarantined no more
Class of 2020: Rising above the pandemic
Ethan Shannon
Ethan Shannon, right, ascends for his graduation walk to the cheers of two pickup trucks full of family and friends on May 16. Graduation ceremonies, drive-through style, were held during a three-day period for all Bulloch County schools.

  Graduation looked much different for the Class of 2020 — far different than any of the students, parents or school administration could have ever imagined.

Thanks to sheltering in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, schools closed early all over the country, including Bulloch County. That means that all local graduations were cancelled. 

Or so it seemed.

All Bulloch County high schools held drive-through graduations May 15, 16 and 18 to celebrate the students, their accomplishments and their resilience. The schools graduated a limited number of students at a time, and each student was allowed two car-loads of guests to watch from their vehicles.  Crowds cheered from inside vehicles and the backs of pickups as the county's best and brightest received their diplomas. 

Heidi Sawyer
Portal valedictorian Heidi Sawyer, right, and senior class president Aiyana Brown, center, chat with principal Julie Blackmar as salutatorian Steven "CJ" Oglesby makes a pre-taped speech on May 15 in preparation for Monday's drive-through graduation ceremony.
SHS space grads
Statesboro High chemistry teacher Ashley Thompson, center, welcomes graduating seniors and keeps them safely spaced while finishing up drive-through graduations on Monday.
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