By Mckenzie Moore
Vision Charter Academy hosted its 2020 graduation ceremony in the parking lot of Grace Community Church in Delta on May 21. VCA graduated 22 students in total, with 16 students at the ceremony and eight students who were not able to attend the ceremony but still received their diplomas.
“My hope is that [the graduates] can take what they’ve learned being in an educational model like Vision’s — where they make choices, they use their voice, they choose to follow their passions — and choose to continue those skills to create the life they want to have,” said Vision Charter Academy Executive Director Willyn Webb, who hosted the ceremony.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the format of the graduation was slightly different. Graduates stayed in their cars with their families until they were called up to the stage, where they would pick up their diploma while their speaker would say a few words about their accomplishment. The event was also live streamed on VCA’s Facebook page.
The format was approved by Delta County Public Health and supervised by a representative (who in addition to providing masks, helped graduates and speakers up and down the steep steps to the stage).
“I hope they remember they had huge school, family and community support,” Webb said. “Although it was challenging, many people were there to come alongside them in partnership, to celebrate with them and make sure that they were prepared and ready and confident to move forward into an unknown world.”
The format was fairly similar to a traditional Vision graduation, with graduates choosing a family member, friend or other loved one to speak about their stories and achievements when they go up on stage to get their diploma. One thing that was different than usual, however, was that in lieu of hand-clapping for each senior, the cars in the parking lot all honked their horns.
“I think it’s awesome that we were able to continue the long-standing tradition where each graduate gets to choose a speaker that speaks specifically about them and celebrates them,” Webb said. “We’re thankful the health department supported that component… It was hard not to have handshakes or hugs, [but] many personal components were there. We were very happy with it.”
Following the ceremony, the graduates all stepped out of their vehicles (but remained in their parking spots) for the traditional turning of the tassel. Local first responders were waiting on the street, and after the full ceremony was completed, the emergency vehicles escorted the graduates and their families in a parade down Main Street in Delta.
Many students were graduating with honors, college credits and scholarships. With another class making its way into the world, Webb said she hopes the community will continue to be there for the students of Vision and see the school as an option for their children.
“We are a very viable education choice. We have kids going to top colleges with top scholarships, preparing for careers that are going to enhance our community in the future,” Webb said. “That blend of homeschool and in class, and ways to custom design their own education, will open up all the same doors for their future.”