The grounds of NFA Main were full of excitement and joy. Despite not having the regular in person graduation, graduates were excited to make their final walk across Academy Field.
Due to novel coronavirus [COVID-19] restrictions, graduations were split into two different days. The Newburgh Enlarged City School District chose to celebrate all 695 graduating seniors this past Monday and Tuesday.
Graduates and their guests were put into three different time slots for both days. Graduates first arrived at the Gidney Avenue Memorial School for staging. Then they went to NFA Main for their last walk across Academy Field.
Masked families were brought down one at a time to make their walk across the field. Only 25 cars were parked at NFA Main during each time slot. Four socially distanced stations were set up across the field for families to stop at.
Each student would be announced prior to their walk across the field.
Families were allowed to remove their masks for photos.
Although it felt bittersweet for graduation to be held with such restrictions, the district made every effort possible for students to feel loved and celebrated.
On June 28, the district held a virtual graduation ceremony. During this ceremony, speakers spoke to graduates on their time at NFA and the future.
The NFA Madrigals performed the national anthem during the virtual ceremony. From the sanctuary of their own individual homes, the group sang in harmony through video chat.
Superintendent Dr. Roberto Padilla gave the graduate address from the grounds of NFA Main.
“Graduates this has been a year like no other,” said Padilla. “When you started your senior year, you or anyone didn’t know we’d be facing a racist pandemic. But here you are, finishing strong, in a true Goldback standard.”
Outside of Academy Field, happy graduates posed for photos in front of NFA Main’s signs. With each click of a photo they bid farewell to one of the most memorable years they’ll ever have.
“As you go off to set off on your journey, please remember all the special memories you’ve had,” said Padilla. “Consider your time in elementary school, in middle school, and certainly the fond memories you’ve built right here at NFA.”