By Ralphine Major
It is the only picture of me wearing cap and gown for high school graduation. I had forgotten that then Gibbs High School assistant principal Roy Mullins handed out our diplomas because our principal, Max Clendenen, had suffered a stroke.
Clendenen was our father’s agriculture teacher at Gibbs before becoming principal, and our father thought the world of him. Beth Donahue recalled those details I had long forgotten.
No wonder Beth remembered. Her mother was a beloved teacher at Gibbs for many years, and her family attended church with Mr. Clendenen’s family in the Corryton community. Mr. Clendenen was unable to return to work ever again.
When our class graduated in 1972, none of us could have ever imagined how special it was to participate in a graduation ceremony. Neither could we have imagined that one day a world-wide pandemic would interrupt high school graduations and so much more!
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, graduations that were originally scheduled for May have been shifted to June or July if no further outbreaks occur. Administrators are trying to modify plans to accommodate graduates and their guests while practicing social distancing guidelines. This unprecedented event in the lives of 2020 graduates will, undoubtedly, make them stronger for having gone through such a horrendous ordeal.
Hopefully, some type of ceremony acknowledging graduates receiving high school diplomas can take place so they, too, can have their moment to remember. Congratulations 2020 Graduates! God bless you all!
Words of faith: “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.” Psalm 91:2 (KJV).