Special Tribute Announced to Honor Marjory Stoneman Douglas Graduates

parade tribute

By Jill Fox

After much uncertainty and disappointment, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Seniors will be recognized with a special tribute.

A “parade of graduates” will take place on June 6 at 9:00 a.m., complete with caps and gowns, decorated vehicles, city officials, and of course, a few surprises.

“As the mayor of Parkland, I felt strongly that we needed to do something special to recognize and celebrate all the MSD students,” said Mayor Christine Hunschofsky.

This decision comes after Broward County Public Schools announced on April 22 that virtual graduations would take place for each high school, with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s scheduled for Monday, June 15, 2020, at 7 p.m.

“I know the difficulties you have experienced in the last few years and how understandably disappointed you and your families are about missing so many senior celebrations,” said Hunschofsky.

After weeks of meeting with a small planning group, she was glad to finally be able to share what was in store.

The special graduation car parade will run along Pine Island Road and Holmberg Road, loop around, and pass the high school, where Principal Michelle Kefford will announce the graduates’ names, one-by-one.

Kefford said she and Hunschofsky had spoken several times, but the mayor led the charge to make sure these students were honored and celebrated.

“The kids wanted to wear their caps and gowns and be publicly recognized, and this gives them that opportunity,” said Kefford.

Students will receive their caps and gowns at school on June 1 via a schedule, which will be released next week.

Socially-distanced teachers and elected officials will have the opportunity to cheer on the graduates, and the city plans to live stream the event for people to view from home, as well as have a photographer on-site to take pictures. However, no one will be permitted out of their vehicles at any time while waiting or during the parade. Participation in the event is by vehicle only, and spectators will not be allowed.

Kefford said, it’s heartbreaking the seniors can’t have their traditional events, and it’s essential they are celebrated and recognized despite the Coronavirus constraints that are facing us.

Sharon Cooper, the mother of MSD senior Zach Cooper, said these kids have been through so much during their high school years, and they deserve this day to feel special and recognized.

“I am so grateful to our mayor for this,” she said.

Students and their families are encouraged to decorate their cars for the parade. Participants should park at North Community Park in Coral Springs while awaiting the start. Students will enter the park via the Westview Drive entrance beginning at 7:00 a.m. and be directed where to wait.

Details about logistics and more information can be found here.

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