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Pomp, circumstance and joy: Williams High School hosts outdoor graduation ceremony

Riley Hollis looks at CJ Henson during the Williams High School 2020 graduation ceremony May 29. (Wendy Howell/WGCN)

Riley Hollis looks at CJ Henson during the Williams High School 2020 graduation ceremony May 29. (Wendy Howell/WGCN)

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — Nearly 300 families and friends sat under blue skies on the Williams High School football field May 29 to witness the graduation of the class of 2020.

Although graduations are always special, this year’s event was especially poignant as uncertainty from the coronavirus pandemic left the ceremony in question.

The 53 seniors walked across the field to their seats in front of socially-distanced family to hear speeches from the numerous valedictorians, salutatorians and historians.

Most of the students have known each other since kindergarten, and the students spoke of their memories from the elementary, middle school and high school years.

To thwart the spread of the virus, administrators worked tirelessly to promote social distancing and limit interaction between graduates and families.

This year's event was also unique as an outside venue, with past attempts spoiled by high winds, rain and even an occasional snowstorm.

Although many friends, teachers and mentors were discouraged from coming to the event for fear of crowding, numerous people lined the fence outside the field to watch the procession, the receiving of the diplomas and the final slide-show program.

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