May 18—HENDERSON — On Saturday, Crossroads Christian School in Henderson celebrated its graduating class of 2021 at Clearview Church.
This year's commencement ceremony was different from those in past years due to COVID-19 precautions. The 16 graduates were each allowed to invite 10 guests to the graduation. Each family sat with a row between them and the next family.
Last year because of the coronavirus the school did have in-person graduation, but only allowed one family in the school auditorium at a time.
"This year we wanted to be able to pull everyone together and at the time we were planning it there were a lot of restrictions but this church said you can come here, so that's why we were doing it at Clearview for the first time," said Kelly Choplin, school RenWeb administrator/web manager.
The students were allowed to attend school in-person this year but had the option of working remotely.
"I was thankful for having the experience to still go to school my senior year, I know other people at other schools have not had that opportunity but Crossroads has allowed me to have that senior year experience," said graduate Haley Patterson.
The graduation was full of memories. Teachers reflected on the graduates, and each mother was given a rose from her child. The students also shared their own personal messages.
"We grew up as brothers and sisters, spending every day together for the past 13 years," said class valedictorian Will Burton.
"We try to make it personalized for the graduates," said Jonathan Capps, head of school. "Seven of the 16 graduates started [together] in either the first grade or before. We've watched them grow up to walk across the stage today so they do become part of the family. It's difficult but you are excited to see what the future holds for them."
Crossroads Christian School is the first school in Vance County this graduation season.