Despite enduring a worldwide pandemic, dealing with virtual learning issues, and missing several customary ‘end of year’ activities, the 134 resilient students making up the Johnson County High School Class of 2021 are preparing to graduate next week.
“The Class of 2021 endured a lot of uncertainty to reach this point,” said Leon Henley, J.C.H.S. Principal, “and we are proud of their ability to adapt on the go and come out successfully their senior year.”
Another thing to set this graduating class apart is the venue for their special day.
“The JCHS Class of 2021 Graduation will be held at Paul H. McEwen stadium on Saturday, May 22, at noon,” said Dr. Mischelle Simcox, Director of Schools. “We are proud of the seniors and all of their accomplishments.”
At the Johnson County School Board meeting, Simcox explained that there are a couple alternative dates in case of rain. For light rain, the ceremony will be moved to 4 p.m. For heavy rain, the ceremony will be moved to Sunday at 2 p.m.
Each senior will receive eight tickets to distribute to family and friends to witness the ceremony to be held on the Johnson County High School’s Coach Harold Arnold Field inside Paul H. McEwen Stadium in Mountain City. Although outdoor graduation has been held on the football field in the past, it has not been done in several years.
Due to stringent COVID-19 restrictions, last year’s ceremony was a “drive-in” graduation at Chamber Park to adhere to social distancing guidelines and keep everyone safe. Vehicles were spread out across the park facing the stage constructed specifically for the event, with parents receiving audio via FM radio signal.
Seniors will be looking back at their time with each other at J.C.H.S. while simultaneously looking forward to their futures. Dozens in this graduating class are college-bound. “We are encouraged by the number of students who presented college acceptance letters,” said Brittany Evans, GEAR UP Site Coordinator.
East Tennessee State University
John Cabot University
Northeast State Community College
Southwest Virginia Highlands Community College
The University of Tennessee Chattanooga
United States Air Force
University of Tennessee
Walters State Community College