Hobbs High School is pleased to have the honor of celebrating our graduating class of 2020 on Saturday, July 18. Due to an increase of cases of COVID-19 and the recent changes in expectations of restarting school, it is necessary to do a graduation with social distancing as its number one priority. Below is some important information for graduates and families regarding Saturday’s ceremony.
Location: Tydings Auditorium Steps (outside) will serve as the stage for graduation.
Audience location: The HHS student parking lot will be the location of the audience. Parents remain in their vehicles. Graduates remain in their vehicles with parents up until the point where they get to walk across the stage and have their name called. School officials request no more than 2 vehicles per graduate. No vehicles larger than a suburban. No trailers, campers,etc… pulled spacing traffic flow.
Parking Plan: All Parking will begin staging in the Watson Stadium parking lot east of the stadium. Vehicles will enter the Watson parking lot from either Sanger, Stadium Drive, or the Seminole Highway. Access from Scarborough will be prohibited. Honor Graduates will begin staging in the Watson parking lot at 11 a.m. All other staging will begin at 11:30 a.m. Once vehicles are staged in the Watson parking lot, a pilot vehicle will direct a row of vehicles and staff will line up cars in the HHS student parking lot, where cars will be facing Tydings Auditorium. All HHS parking lots will be closed to the public the evening before and will not open until 11 a.m. Saturday morning. Vehicles must arrive together in order to be in the right order. A car that arrives late will NOT be moved to the front to be with other members of their party.
Restrooms: In the event that a graduate or family member needs to use a restroom, we will have facilities available. If you must leave a vehicle, the expectation will be that you leave someone in the vehicle who can drive the car in case it is time for your row to move and that you return directly to your vehicle to avoid gathering outside the vehicle.
Time: 12 p.m. will be when names begin to be called for graduation. Pre-recorded speeches will available prior for parents to view online. The speeches will be broadcast on Kool 95.7 FM beginning at 11:30 a.m.
Staff: HHS staff will be utilized throughout the ceremony to guide and ensure parents and students maintain social distancing. Hobbs police officer will be present to help with traffic and emergency medical services will be present in the event that a person needs assistance.
Speeches: Valedictorian, Salutatorian, and Invocation speeches will be recorded for the radio before the ceremony and posted online to be viewed via website/Facebook throughout the event. Steve Sauceda (guest speaker) will pre-record a message to our graduates. Speeches will be played prior to graduation via Kool 95.7 radio.
Sound and video: Trans Global Productions will provide speakers to broadcast from the top of the Auditorium stairs so cars in the front rows can hear the names being called. For those who chose to participate from home, HMS will Livestream the event on Facebook and through the website. Kool 95.7 will broadcast the speeches and the names being called live so people can tune in while in their vehicles.
Graduates: All graduates must show up in vehicles with parents or family members. Graduation will not be announced in alphabetical order. Graduates will be announced in the order they arrive. Cars will be lined up facing the outside stairs at Tydings Auditorium. The graduates in the front 2-3 rows will exit their vehicles, go into the north entrance of Tydings Auditorium, spaced 6 feet apart at all times. They will get receive a Hobbs Eagles mask, name card, and diploma cover. Students will go up the ramp and will then walk across stage and have their name announced. Students, with diploma in hand, will change their tassel, pause for a professional picture on stage, and then exit back into the auditorium and out the back of the building. Graduates will walk down the band hallway, pick up their banner, and exit towards the high school administration building to be picked up by their family (who have now left the student parking lot).
Graduate dress code: Graduates are encouraged to follow formal dress underneath their cap and gown. Due to an increase in walking, comfortable shoes are acceptable. Students will be given masks, so expectations of shaving will not be enforced for this ceremony.
Parents: Parents are to remain in their vehicle at all times. Remember that every parent vehicle will be positioned in the front row to see their graduate walk across the stage. Staff will move traffic row by row in order to keep cars matched with graduates. Once the graduate has walked across the stage, the parent vehicles will follow a pilot vehicle to the HHS front parking lot to retrieve their graduate and then exit the campus. Once the row of cars in the front row leaves, the next row of cars immediately behind them moves to the front in order to see their respective graduate walk across the stage. This process will repeat until all graduates have been announced. Parents are required to remain in their vehicle while waiting for their graduate to walk across the stage.
The process is designed to do the following:
1. Allow every graduate to “walk across a stage” and hear their name called.
2. Allow parents to be a part of the process.
3. Allow every parent a front row seat to see their graduate walk the stage.
4. Prevent any large group congregation of parents and students while on HHS campus.
5. Minimize physical contact between people and maintain social distancing.
Order of events:
1. Honor Graduate parking begins at 11 a.m.
2. All other graduate parking begins at 11:30 a.m.
3. Speeches pre-recorded and Broadcasting on Kool 95.7 FM at 11:30 a.m.
4. Pledge of Allegiance by board president Gary Eidson
5. Welcome speech by Mr. Kaney and Mr. Turrubiates
6. Begin calling names of Honor Graduates, and continue calling names of all other graduates.
7. Ending of ceremony
Hobbs High School thanks you for your compliance and flexibility with these expectations. An animated video will be released through our site to explain this process as well.
Zeke Kaney is the Hobbs High principal of the Class of 2020 and currently the HMS director of operations.