Board President Tom McManis told The Telegram that he called the meeting because he said Board members had been hearing from citizens about the graduation event and other end-of-year issues. Some concerned comments revolved around seniors not receiving cords, awards, scholarships, and other items given which are normally presented in coordination with graduation.

The special-session meeting was not streamed on Internet and there were some people in attendance.

McManis stated the meeting served as an opportunity to clear the air and have a forum for people to air their views about graduation. There was some discussion about changing the graduation to a date when a more traditional event could be held. However, there were other concerns centered on students not being able to make a rescheduled graduation due to employment and military commitments. 

McManis stated earlier in an interview with The Telegram, “If the restrictions were not lifted in time for graduation, the Board would have to go with a Plan B.” The question was to determine the best Plan B.

McManis added if the meeting caused anyone stress because they thought the graduation date was going to be changed, he wished to send out a blanket apology to the general public and the Class of 2020 members.

 After some discussion, the Board acted upon the recommendation of Superintendent Rick Brooks, with a unanimous 5-0 vote, to go ahead with the Drive-By Graduation on Sunday afternoon, May 17, as planned.

The ceremony in front of the high school came off without a hitch Sunday in a blended event that had live and virtual components. It was shown on the Vinton County Local Schools’ website and aired on Total Media’s WKOV (96.7 FM) radio station. McManis wanted to congratulate the Class of 2020 for a job well done and thanked everyone for pulling together.

The class had a positive ending to a negative situation, but were able to create special memories in a very different way.