Graduation ceremonies are a bit different this year for everyone and while students at the Alabama Connections Academy choose the non-traditional online school for classes, this year their senior class also will be celebrating graduation in a non-traditional way, virtually.
While the rest of Alabama has been tasked with adapting to online learning during a pandemic, its been business as usual for the students at the Alabama Connections Academy.
“For us already being in the virtual environment we didn’t have that hurdle to overcome,” said Connections Academy Assistant Principal Casey Wigginton.
Alabama Connections Academy is an online public school for students K-12. Senior Savannah Dickerson said moving to online schooling helped her focus on her grades.
“Whenever I was in a classroom setting, I had struggled my first two years of high school,” said Dickerson.
Now her time at the Connections Academy has come to an end. She and 200 of her classmates are moving forward and having one last celebration with a virtual graduation ceremony.
“A virtual ceremony doesn’t take the place of a traditional ceremony where they get to walk. There’s no way to top that,” said Wigginton.
This is the first year they have held graduation virtually. Traditionally students from across the state gather for one ceremony in a central location.
“I’m still just as excited because I’ll be the first one in my family to graduate like this. So even if I do only get a virtual graduation its still a big deal for me,” said Dickerson.
The ceremony will be pre-recorded with clips from students and faculty, along with guest appearances from notable figures who got their start in Alabama. Dickerson says she’s looking forward to hearing her name called.
“It’s going to be me and my parents downstairs watching it together,” said Dickerson.
The ceremony goes live on YouTube premier Friday at 7pm.
The Alabama Connection Academy senior class will have 232 graduates and they have earned more than $1.8 million in scholarship.