'I'm very happy': Wake school plans for in-person, stadium graduations for Class of 2021

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Thursday, April 22, 2021
Rolesville High announces plans for in-person graduation
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Rolesville High announces plans for in-person graduation.

ROLESVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Most high school stadiums across Wake County will soon be hosting graduations.

Times, dates, and exact locations will be released on a school-by-school basis, but we are getting an idea of how one school plans to celebrate the Class of 2021.

At Rolesville High, there's ample room on the field for seniors to sit apart and receive their diplomas in person. There will still be a processional band and dignitaries in attendance.

The plan offers some normalcy for seniors after two unorthodox school years.

"I think everyone has done a great job with 'Your senior year wasn't what you thought it was going to be,'" said Rolesville senior Cori Barthelmess

She said she has struggled to stay positive these past few months. Barthelness said she is not a fan of virtual learning and prefers to be in a classroom but is at least thrilled about graduation.

"To find out that we will have a football stadium graduation was absolutely awesome. I was so excited. I wanted that when I was a freshman, so I'm very happy we're having an in-person graduation," Barthelmess said.

Principal Dhedra Lassiter is equally happy. She's known some of the seniors since they were in sixth grade.

"I cannot wait. I've missed my students terribly," Lassiter said.

Rolesville's in-person graduation will take place June 11. There will be three ceremonies and an estimated 190 seniors will get their diplomas per ceremony.

Each student will be handed four tickets for family members.

The events will move inside if there is bad weather.

Students will still get the same number of tickets and have a chance to make the same kind of memories.

"Our students have persevered. They've shown a great deal of resiliency. They've been able to adapt," Lassiter said. "It's a time we all need to be able to celebrate them and make this a celebration they will always remember."

Students and families who might not feel comfortable attending a large gathering do have a choice. Rolesville students can opt for a private, personalized ceremony June 12.