Nederland ISD backs outdoor graduation; details still being determined

Published 12:20 am Friday, May 15, 2020

NEDERLAND — The Nederland Independent School District announced the class of 2020 will celebrate its graduation during an outdoor ceremony at 7 p.m. May 29 at the Ford Park Amphitheater in Beaumont.

The brief social media announcement this week only stated the day, time and location.

“In accordance with the newest Texas Education Agency guidelines, we have secured an outdoor location to host the Class of 2020 Graduation,” the post read. “At the time, indoor events are not permitted … We appreciate your patience as we navigate this so we can create the safest and best ceremony for our seniors.”

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Assistant Superintendent Stuart Kieschnick said more information would be posted as soon as possible.

“We are excited to celebrate the Class of 2020 in person,” Kieschnick said. “We are currently working through the details of the event with Ford Park to ensure we are following all state and county guidelines.

“As most know, there is a lot of planning that goes into a graduation ceremony and even more so now. We appreciate everyone’s patience and support.”

While many details remain under discussion, parents and seniors of NISD are praising the district for choosing an in-person ceremony.

Laura LeDoux Clark, whose daughter Kaitlyn Clark is a senior, applauds the district for moving quickly after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott presented the four commencement ceremony choices last week.

“As a family we are excited to see our grad get to walk for graduation in front of her peers and family,” Clark said. “She has worked hard and deserves it. In this day, we must celebrate any type of celebration.”

Clark said while the grand, elaborate graduations may become a thing of the past, every celebration is still special.

“We are celebrating the small things and are thankful for that,” she said. “I’m ready to celebrate the class of 2020, heat, rain, mosquitos and all.”

Faith Boyd, also a parent of a 2020 Nederland High senior, said she is thrilled with the work the district has done to make sure there is a traditional graduation.

“I’m happy with the fact that we will have an actual ceremony, instead of a virtual one,” Boyd said. “I’m excited to see this happen for our seniors.”

Many Nederland High School seniors share the same sentiment.

“It’s one of the best things that could happen for us during such a down and depressing time,” senior Sebastian Watler said. “I am excited to be able to safely see my friends and family again before we all head off in different directions for life after high school.”