Taking their cue from Publisher’s Clearing House, the Liberty County School System Prize Patrol boarded a school bus and headed out Wednesday to announce this year’s Valedictorians and Salutatorians from each school.
Armed with balloons, a certificate and a sign the students could place on their lawn the prize patrol, comprised of Liberty County School Superintendent Dr. Franklin Perry and administrators from Liberty County High and Bradwell Institute, made their first stop at the home of Bradwell valedictorian Katherine Holandez-Lopez.
This is a huge surprise,” she said. “This is totally unexpected. It is supercool and I’m really honored that they risked their safety and came out here to congratulate me.”
She said graduation was something she looked forward to, but understood precautions implemented for health and safety.
“It is really important that we continue to monitor the situation,” Holandez-Lopez said.
The graduating senior was recently named a Gates Scholar recipient, was this year’s STAR student of the year and was a Liberty Life Magazine Top Shining Senior.
The next stop was to the home of the Bradwell Institute salutatorian Maryse Azer. From there the bus headed to the home of Liberty County High School valedictorian Jere Pearson.
“I honestly wasn’t expecting anything although I probably should have because we have awesome administrators,” Pearson said. “This is above and beyond. I am so humbled right now. I’m kind of speechless…this is cool.”
The final stop was at the home of Janell Brown, Liberty’s salutatorian.
Perry said it was a thrill to surprise the seniors and honor them for their hard work and accomplishment.
According to a press release from the Liberty County School System, administrators and educators explored ways to celebrate the Class of 2020. The Prize Patrol was one idea, since the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the school system from holding traditional graduation ceremonies in May.
In the press release the LCSS said schools will host drive through car line graduation celebrations to recognize the accomplishments of their graduates. They also stated that the LCSS is planning formal commencement ceremonies for July 17-18, if mass gatherings are permitted at that time in Georgia.
Holandez-Lopez said that if they are able to gather for their formal ceremony in July she is looking forward to being around her classmates and friends.
According to LCSS release the scheduled drive through graduations are as follows:
Bradwell Institute Friday May 22
Liberty County High School Saturday May 23
Last names A-G from 11 a.m. until noon
Last names H-M from noon until 1 p.m.
Last names N-R from 1 p.m. until 2 p.m.
Last names S-Z from 2 p.m. until 3 p.m.
On the day of the graduation celebration the graduates will come to their campus dressed in cap and gown seated in the front passenger seats of their cars. They have been encouraged to decorate their cars to show their school spirit. During the individual graduation diploma presentation, an announcer will call the name of each graduate and they will receive their diploma through the car window.