Warden High School seniors end unusual year with graduation

by CHERYL SCHWEIZER
Staff Writer | July 26, 2020 10:59 PM

WARDEN — Alexys Gibbons’ family went all out decorating the truck for the Warden High School graduation parade Friday night — signs, congratulatory messages written in car chalk, and balloons. A lot of balloons.

“We had a lot more (balloons) when we started,” said Alexys’ uncle Allen Phillips. Brisk winds blew about 20 of them away, he said.

Alexys waited quietly, in her cap and gown, as her family swarmed about the truck. She was asked about her reaction to the delayed graduation ceremony in what has been an unusual year.

“I don’t know,” she said.

“Does it actually feel like you’re done?” asked her uncle Scott Phillips.

“Not really,” Alexys said.

The parade and graduation ceremony at the WHS football field were responses to the COVID-19 outbreak. Warden School Board members voted to delay graduation to late July in the hope the school could have a traditional ceremony. But the coronavirus is still active, so district officials came up with an alternative plan.

School was closed in March for the balance of the 2019-20 school year. Valedictorian Kaden Skone said that cost the Class of 2020 a chance to do things they had looked forward to throughout high school. But it also proved the WHS seniors were and are resilient, he said.

“To my classmates, we did it,” Skone said. And he urged seniors to keep that in mind as they go to college and start work. “We all made it this far, why not keep going?” Skone said.

More photos from Warden High School's graduation can be found here.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at education@columbiabasinherald.com.

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Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald A Warden High School senior approaches the stage during graduation ceremonies Friday.

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Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald A Warden High School graduate displays her new diploma during graduation ceremonies Friday.

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Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald A Warden High School senior enters the campus in style during graduation ceremonies Friday night.