High school principal drives 1,750 miles to hand-deliver diplomas to graduating seniors

Elise Solé
·3 min read
Texas principal Scott Rudes (R) hand-delivered diplomas to the homes of all 240 graduating seniors. (Photo: Courtesy of Booker T. Washington HSPVA)
Texas principal Scott Rudes (R) hand-delivered diplomas to the homes of all 240 graduating seniors. (Photo: Courtesy of Booker T. Washington HSPVA)

A high school principal didn’t want the coronavirus pandemic to ruin graduation — so he drove to the homes of 240 senior students to hand out diplomas.

Scott Rudes, the principal of Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, knew his senior class was sad about the coronavirus pandemic shortening the school year. So during a video call with students, he blurted out a half-baked idea. “I said, ‘I am going to see all of you to give your diplomas,” Rudes tells Yahoo Life. Seeing their thrilled reaction, he couldn’t let his students down.

On May 22, the father of three dressed in graduation regalia and loaded up his car with 240 diplomas. Then, covering 1,750 miles, he drove to each student’s home to personally deliver sanitized diplomas and spend a few minutes congratulating their families.

A Texas principal hand-delivered high school diplomas ot 240 graduating seniors. (Photo: Courtesy of Booker T. Washington HSPVA)
A Texas principal hand-delivered high school diplomas ot 240 graduating seniors. (Photo: Courtesy of Booker T. Washington HSPVA)

“We took it a day at a time and a mile at a time,” he says. “Each stop was memorable and brought joy to people’s faces.”

“We visited between 25 and 25 homes per day,” Rudes tells Yahoo Life. “We had a lot of creativity on the route.” One student received her diploma on an inflatable slide, another while jumping on a trampoline and a family staged a front-porch graduation ceremony. “I was part of a few TikTok videos too,” adds Rudes.

Since the pandemic endangered in-person ceremonies, Rudes, who has worked at the school for 7 years, says the local road trip “softened the blow” for graduates. “We had not seen our kids since mid-March and it’s been hard on teachers,” he says. “This was a labor of love.”

Principal Scott Rudes drove to the homes of graduating seniors to deliver diplomas. (Photo: Courtesy of Booker T. Washington HSPVA)
Principal Scott Rudes drove to the homes of graduating seniors to deliver diplomas. (Photo: Courtesy of Booker T. Washington HSPVA)

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