Picking up their diploma… Cloudland High School Class of 2020 completes a historic year

Published 11:13 am Thursday, June 4, 2020

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It may not have been the way the Cloudland High School Class of 2020 would have envisioned their graduation day but now they can at least say they are official graduates as they move forward with their lives to the next phase.
A large crowd of family and friends gathered at the State Line Drive-In on Tuesday evening to witness the presentation of diplomas to the Highlander Class of 2020.
In remarks delivered prior to the presentation of diplomas, Richard Church, Principal of Cloudland High School, stated that in his heart this was ‘The Chosen’ class.
“In 2001 when many of you were born, you came in at a time in history when terrorists had taken down the Twin Towers in New York and now you are graduating during a time of a worldwide pandemic,” said Church.
“You have endured and completed something many thought couldn’t be done,” Church stated in reference to the Smoky and the Bandit movie the principal watched in the same theater in the ’80s.
During recognition of the scholarships that had been awarded, Ms. Sheila McKinney stated that the Class of 2020 had received an amazing total of 1.2 million dollars of scholarships from federal, state, and local resources.
Many of the graduating class will be attending colleges or technical schools with two enlisting in the military – one in the US Marine Corp. and one in the United States Army.
The Cloudland Class of 2020 was led to the Drive-In by a couple of fire trucks with the Roan Mountain Volunteer Fire Department and their school resource officer.
Members of the class shared some hugs and took some photos with their family and friends prior to the graduation ceremony.
Making the graduation more nostalgic was the playing of bagpipes and drums before opening remarks as Church and members of the Carter County School board along with Mayor Rusty Barnett took their places on the stage.
All photos by Ivan Sanders.

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