FLINT, Michigan—With schools closed and many traditional senior activities canceled, Flint Community Schools (FCS) honored the Class of 2020 with a drive-in style commencement ceremony to recognize more than 80 seniors who graduated on Tuesday, June 2.
While the US-23 drive-in theatre off Fenton road is typically used for movies, FCS graduates, families, teachers and staff were in their cars, drive-in style, dressed in caps and gowns to safely celebrate this milestone. The ceremony was a private event, with the venue set at half-capacity to maintain social distancing, and tickets were required for entry. In addition to limiting the venue to half capacity, all social distancing protocols, including maintaining six feet of distance between participants, keeping concessions closed, limiting restroom capacity, and ensuring students and families were in their vehicles at all times, were followed on-site.
During the ceremony, the district shared a ‘shout-out’ video including local leaders, Elon Musk, and famous athletes from the Charlotte Hornets and Oregon Ducks. The video played on the big screen during commencement to surprise seniors.
Aaron Walker is the valedictorian of the FCS Class of 2020. During his time at FCS, Walker participated in three Advanced Placement courses, student council, marching band and National Honors Society. Walker also participated in the Harvard Extension Program, “Poetry in America: The City from Whitman to Hip-Hop.”
The FCS Class of 2020 received more than $80,000 in scholarship money, with acceptance to schools such as the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Western Michigan University, to name a few.
Amari Green is the Class of 2020’s salutatorian. During Green’s time at FCS, she was a member of the volleyball team for all four years of her high school career and an honors student, serving as president of the National Honors Society her senior year. Outside of school, Green contributed more than 100 hours of community service at organizations including the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan and the Renaissance Festival.
Other activities the district organized to recognize seniors included personalized yard signs for each graduate, a digital billboard congratulating the Class of 2020, a virtual senior convocation, and other special commemorations. Senior spotlights were shared on social media to recognize their achievements.
The commencement ceremony was made possible in part through a $5,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.