Seniors take the graduation stage

Local News

MATTOON, Ill. (WCIA) — Some high school seniors got to walk across the graduation stage this weekend, in their own personalized graduation.

Mattoon High School seniors did not graduate in front of their peers, but in front of their family and a mostly empty gym. Each graduate had the stage to themselves and they were only able to invite five people. Senior Josh Bushart says the experience was king of like being in a movie scene.

“One of the teachers did say my name over the microphone for me to walk across the stage,” says Bushart. “It was really easy to see my family that was out there, because they were all right in front of me.”

Mattoon says it wanted to give those graduating a mostly normal experience. Families signed up for time slots over the weekend. The school says it had 234 individual ceremonies. To make it more special, students parents or guardians got to hand them their diploma. For Bushart, he said the moment meant that much more because his mom gave him his.

“She’s just always been there for me,” says Bushart. “Through everything she’s really been there for me to lean on and all that good stuff. It was great to get it from her.”

The high school will continue to honor seniors with a parade Friday.

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