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George County seniors grateful to have family, friends at graduation ceremony

Published: May. 19, 2021 at 8:08 AM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - COVID-19 stole alot from the class of 2021. The graduating class of George County didn’t experience a prom for their junior or senior year, and their experience was far from traditional as they alternated between in person and virtual learning the first semester this year.

After a long year, the Rebels rose above it all on Tuesday night, finishing the school year with an in-person graduation ceremony that all of their friends and family were able to attend.

After a long year of dealing with COVID-19 restrictions, George County High's Class of 2021...
After a long year of dealing with COVID-19 restrictions, George County High's Class of 2021 celebrated their achievement surrounded by friends and family at Tuesday night's graduation ceremony.(WLOX)

It was a moment many feared might not happen. With attendance limits on K-12 events finally lifted, extended families and close friends piled into the Mississippi Coast Coliseum to show their support for the class of 2021.

“It is absolutely amazing, considering COVID and all the restrictions... to be able to support our family during a time like this is an absolute honor. We are glad things happened as God planned,” said Jennifer Murray, who is the aunt of one of the graduating seniors.

After a long year of dealing with COVID-19 restrictions, George County High's Class of 2021...
After a long year of dealing with COVID-19 restrictions, George County High's Class of 2021 celebrated their achievement surrounded by friends and family at Tuesday night's graduation ceremony.(WLOX)

The families aren’t the only ones excited to celebrate.

“In the beginning, I thought I would only be able to invite six family members so to be able to have all my family and friends here tonight is just so special to me,” said graduate Raely Langston.

Class of 2021 rises above challenges of COVID-19.
Class of 2021 rises above challenges of COVID-19.(WLOX)

Walking across the stage is a special moment and just knowing one’s whole family is there meant the world to many of the George County graduates.

“I come from a big family and most people in George County do come from a big family so it just means a lot more knowing that I can have my whole support system there,” said graduate Lexi Green.

For Superintendent Wade Whitney, the graduation ceremony was the opportunity to honor a group of students who have overcome an array of challenges and adversity.

“From jump street, we was dealing with COVID, hurricanes, all of that just in this class. You had quarantines, social distancing and masks everyday, and it has just been a special, special year,” said Whitney.

The Rebels kicked off graduation season for Coast high schools. Long Beach will honor their graduates at the Coliseum Wednesday at 6 p.m.

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