KINSTON, N.C. — The longtime practice of holding graduation ceremonies outdoors, an eventual casualty to the threat of inclement weather, will be restored at four LCPS high schools at month’s end as they respond to public health recommendations and the desire of families to see their students awarded diplomas.
Kinston, North Lenoir and South Lenoir high schools will hold commencements on their football fields and Lenoir County Learning Academy will host graduation on the grounds of the chapel at Kennedy Home, where the alternative school is located.
The outdoor settings mean the high schools can more easily adhere to COVID-related recommendations from county and state health officials and can accommodate larger audiences than current restrictions allow indoors.
“We are pleased to be able to offer up to six tickets for family and friends for each of our graduating seniors,” Superintendent Brent Williams said. “Our principals and school staff have worked hard to create a safer outdoor environment for the 2021 commencements while holding to the traditions established at each school.”
Here are details of LCPS’s four remaining commencements, involving 556 seniors:
Lenoir County Learning Academy. Fourteen seniors are expected to graduate in a ceremony scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 26, on the grounds of Kennedy Home Chapel. Keynote speaker will be Derrick Dalton, instructional coach at Drive Educational System. A video of the commencement will be posted for later viewing. The 8th Grade Rite of Passage Ceremony will be held as part of the graduation exercise.
North Lenoir High School. The largest segment of the district’s Class of 2021 – 202 seniors – will receive diplomas during a commencement set to begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 27, on the school’s football field. Each student receives six tickets and three parking passes for audience members. Keynote speaker will be Lisa Coltrain, a 1997 graduate of North Lenoir who currently serves as the Homicide and Arson Prosecutor for the State of North Carolina’s Conference of District Attorneys. The school plans to live stream the graduation exercise and to post a video for later viewing. Rain date for commencement is 7 p.m. Saturday, June 5.
South Lenoir High School. Commencement for a graduating class of 182 seniors is scheduled for 8 a.m. Friday, May 28, on the school’s football field. Students receive six tickets each. Commencement speakers will be Class of 2021 leaders Lydia Walston and Ashlynn Holloman. Graduation will be live streamed and videotaped for later viewing. Rain date is 8 a.m. Saturday, June 5.
Kinston High School. Graduation is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday, May 28, on the school’s football field for a class of 158 seniors. Students receive six tickets each. Two members of the graduating class, Mekaylind Kilpatrick and Yasmine Perry, will keynote the ceremony, which will include recognition of honor graduates, International Baccalaureate graduates and NC Scholar designees. Rain date is 10 a.m. Saturday, June 5. The school plans to live stream the graduation exercise and to post a video for later viewing.
The district’s fifth high school, Lenoir County Early College High School, held its commencement for 33 seniors on May 5.