‘It’s an honor to walk the stage’: USD 259 moves forward with in-person graduations


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Last year, the pandemic made it difficult for many Kansas high schools to celebrate graduating seniors. Some high schools were forced to reconsider the way graduation ceremonies would look. For USD 259, in-person graduations are back.

“I was super excited,” said Kianna Davis, high school senior.

“I’m really appreciative for what they’ve done this year,” said Emmanuel Gallardo, high school senior.

Graduating from high school is a milestone many seniors are looking forward to. Gallardo and Davis said they are grateful to sport their cap and gowns during this year’s graduation ceremonies.

“It’s an honor to walk the stage to be the first-class this year as COVID is still going on,” said Davis.

“I’m very grateful that we do have an in-person one – better than a drive-up one or them sending us our diplomas,” said Kiana Muhwezi, high school senior.

While some things are coming back to normalcy, others still remain the same.

“Our family members will all be sitting together and everybody has to wear a face mask,” said Muhwezi. “If they don’t, they are not allowed in or they are asked to leave.”

USD 259 says all graduation ceremonies will have limited guests based on location and school size. Gallardo and Davis say they have big families, and it’s unfortunate not all of them will be able to attend. They are grateful to still be able to celebrate in person.

“The whole ordeal with just having 10 people, my mom was kind of – she was iffy about it,” said Gallardo. “She was like, ‘who are you going to choose, who are you going to choose?’ I was like I don’t know who to choose.”

Kianna Davis is attending Wichita State University and plans to study computer engineering.

Emmanuel Gallardo said he will be going to Wichita State University and studying graphic design.

Kiana Muhwezi will head to Arizona State University and will be majoring in psychology.

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