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Prison Work Crew helps JCHS prepare for graduation ceremony

By Tamas Mondovics

The Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) has helped make the JCHS Class of 2020 graduation ceremony possible. Officials with the Northeast Correctional Complex in Mountain City, TN, announced that a community service work crew from the complex had been diligently working for weeks to prepare the grounds for the ceremony. The park, which is normally used for community events such as rodeos, carnivals, and festivals, has been vacant over the winter months. As a result, the park was overgrown with brush and weeds and was in need of landscaping. The Northeast work crew spent weeks cleaning the grounds and helping the school prepare for the big day.

“We’re proud to be a part of this community and humbled by their support not only during this crisis but always,” said Warden Bert Boyd. “I am very pleased we were able to help this cause, it’s the least we could do. Congrats, Class of 2020.”

East Tennessee Region Public Information Officer Robert Reburn emphasized that the impact of COVID-19 has been undeniable.

“Everyone has been seriously affected by the virus and or the subsequent actions necessary to quell the spread and limit that impact as much as possible,” he said, “One group that has endured serious repercussions is our youth. The final semester of their school year was basically canceled. This has been especially saddening for seniors, who feared missing out on graduation.”

Thanks to the support of NECX, the graduating class of 2020 held a ‘drive-in’ commencement ceremony at Chamber Park in Mountain City. Cars were spread out across Chamber Park with a good view of the stage and were able to receive audio through their vehicle via an FM radio.