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Hampton’s newest alumni react to graduation: Part Two

Walking across that stage, receiving that diploma as you are congratulated, these are time-honored traditions every senior expects. Now, throw in a drive-in graduation to the mix, you get something different to say the least.
Hampton High School’s latest alumni experienced this on Thursday night when they graduated. Now, five of these graduates are ready to share their take on the unique experience.
Hannah Robinson
For Robinson, she said the experience was better than expected.
“It was a unique experience,” she recalled. “I liked it a lot better than I thought I would.”
Robinson said she enjoyed the experience overall, and says this is a memory she thinks she will look back on fondly in the future. In regards to her senior year, she also remained positive.
“I had a wonderful senior year. I just wish we would have got to finish it out all together,” she said.
As she reflected on her favorite high school memory, homecoming came to mind.
“To me every memory is a good memory, but my favorite is homecoming week,” she said. “It’s so much fun to dress up and do all the fun stuff with your friends.”
Now that high school has ended, Robinson plans to attend Northeast State Community College in the fall to start her education in physical therapy.
Jonah Jones
According to Jones, the ceremony wasn’t the way he had expected to end high school.
“It wasn’t exactly the way we had planned but my goal was to get through high school was still accomplished,” he said.
While the graduation was different, Jones went on to say he was glad they were able to have one.
“I’m just glad that we got to have a graduation with this virus going around,” he said. “My favorite part about graduation was probably just seeing all the teachers and all of my friends again.”
Jones said this is a memory he will never forget, and that he was able to have his family there to support him. He also said that what time he did have of his senior year was great.
“Senior year was still great even though it got cut short,” he said, “I got to finish my football career there at least.”
He said his favorite high school memory involved playing football against South Greene High School.
“They were supposed to be the best team on this side of Tennessee and we ended up beating them by 20 points,” he said.
Jones now plans on learning trades, getting his degree and going on to the workforce.
Isaiah Gouge
Gouge praised Hampton’s job on graduation.
“Given the circumstances I feel like the Hampton staff did an amazing job at providing us with a graduation ceremony,” he said. “I did enjoy it. My favorite part was getting to see my classmates that I’ve spent most of my life with growing up one more time, as many of us will go off doing our own thing and starting our journey through life.”
Gouge said most of his family was there to cheer him on, and he feels like this is a memory he will look back on and speak of in the future.
When Gouge reflected on his senior year, he described the positive sides.
“Despite everything that happened, overall it was still an amazing year and I feel like it helped us all grow up a little more,” he said. “Sometimes things happen that weren’t expected and you have to persevere through it.”
Gouge said his favorite high school memories were watching the football games and walking around the track with his friends.
He now plans on pursuing a career in Millwright and traveling the world.
Cali Estep
Estep said she was happy that graduation involved family.
“I felt congratulated. I was very happy to be able to see my family be there,” she said. “I actually enjoyed being able to celebrate with our families instead of them being up in the bleaches. I also enjoyed having our own personal space. In the gym you’re jam packed with everyone and it gets hot. I just wish we could’ve walked across our stage.”
While Estep was happy for family in attendance, there were others she said she wished were there as well.
“There were some of my friends and teachers I would’ve liked to have been there,” she said. “Mostly my elementary school/ junior high school teachers. Like Mrs. Delania McKinney, Mrs. Amanda Orloff, and Mrs. Sharon Thomas, and my church family and friends.”
Estep said she enjoyed graduation and also will look back on this memory, telling people how and where she graduated. In terms of her senior year, she felt sad she couldn’t say proper goodbyes to people and her school.
Now that school has ended, she plays on attending TCAT to go into phlebotomy.
Jayln Hill
Hill recalled nerves and excitement on her graduation day.
“I was really nervous on graduation day, I honestly had no idea what to expect but I was overall excited,” she said.
While she didn’t know what to expect prior to the ceremony, and it was not at the school, she did say she enjoyed it.
“I did enjoy the graduation, it was a lot better than I was expecting,” she said. “My least favorite part was that I wish it would’ve been on school property, but it went pretty smoothly I thought.”
Hill noted that she wished her friends who weren’t graduating could’ve been in attendance as well.
She said this memory will be unforgettable.
“It’s something I’ll never forget. It wasn’t just a regular graduation like all of the years before,” she said.
When Hill looked back on her senior year, she said it was still good.
“We still got to have homecoming and we almost went to the state championship which was very exciting for everyone,” she said.
As she reflected on her high school memories, her favorite involved running for homecoming and taking road trips to the away-games during football and basketball season.
Hill now plans to attend Northeast State Community College, and figure out what study she would enjoy the most.
Congratulations to Hampton High School’s Class of 2020!