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PCHS students receive diplomas

The valedictorian and salutatorian of Pike County High School were the first members of the Class of 2020 in Pike County to receive their diplomas under the restrictions imposed by COVID-19.

For Kayla Pinchon and Trevor Benton, that’s a distinction they would rather not have.  Both had dreamed of graduating with their classmates, tossing their mortarboards high into to the air and stepping into a world of hope and promise.

But, Pinchon delivered her valedictorian address to a small family gathering at the PCHS auditorium Monday morning, accepted her high school diploma and stepped out into a world she could never have imagined would exist.

And, it was much the same for Benton, the class salutatorian. He switched the tassel on his mortarboard to signify his new status in life and accepted the congratulations of his family.

For both, high school graduation was both disappointing and rewarding.

“It was not what we had hoped for or planned for but it was an ending and a beginning,” Pinchon said. “Now, we move on.”

Benton said the beginning will be a new normal for the Class of 2020 and his belief is that “we are all ready for the challenge.”

The 2020 Pike County High School graduation ceremonies continued Monday and will conclude today.

The 2020 graduating seniors accepted their diplomas in groups of three or four with up to eight family members in attendance at the PCHS auditorium.

Masks were worn, social distancing was observed and congratulations were extended vocally. Jhirmal White’s daughter, Tationna, was among the Monday graduates and White said he was disappointed that the Class of 2020 could not graduate together.

“But the school administration did the best they could under the circumstances,” he said. “We appreciate what they did to make this the best day possible for our 2020 seniors.”

Angie Moore, agreed that she was disappointed for her daughter, Kari, and all the 2020 PCHS graduates.

“I was probably more disappointed than Kari because this was such an important day in her life,” Moore said. “But, the school did a fabulous job and we really appreciate it.”

PCHS graduation ceremonies will continue today, followed by Goshen High School ceremonies on Wednesday and Thursday.

Charles Henderson High School graduation will be on Thursday. Pike Liberal Arts School graduation will be on June 4.