MOOREVILLE • Rain and social distancing due to COVID-19 made for an unforgettable graduation ceremony for Mooreville High School seniors on Thursday evening.

The school’s 110 graduating seniors sat in folding chairs on the football field during speeches by salutatorian Morgan Herndon and valedictorian/STAR Student Tara Beth Buse.

Buse welcomed the Class of 2020 back to “what used to be our second home.”

“If any of you are anything like me, living a busy life, you might’ve spent as much time here as you did at home,” Buse said. “It’s kind of crazy when you look back and see how suddenly all of that ended. You never realize just how quickly your life can change.”

Buse said the past few months have put into perspective how no one is promised tomorrow. She reminded her classmates that although their senior year was cut short, this is the beginning of the rest of their lives. She encouraged them to live life with a purpose and turn to God.

“I personally can’t fathom how I would make it through these unforeseen circumstances if I didn’t have the eternal joy that God has given me,” Buse said. “And all of this comes from someone who is a work in progress.”

Her speech was followed by the presentation of diplomas. The rain began to pour and umbrellas unfurled in the stands and on the field as the first few graduates crossed the stage.

Donovan Caldwell, a 2020 graduate, said before the ceremony that he thought school administrators did a good job of making a traditional graduation happen.

“I think it’s great that they’re able to be able to put this on for us,” Caldwell said. “We weren’t expecting to have anything. We were expecting them just to give out diplomas and say ‘head on.’”

Matthew Byrd, another 2020 graduate, said it was nice that he and all of his classmates could “all get together and have one last go-round.”

Mooreville High School Principal Adam Lindsey recognized Devon Loague who was absent from the ceremony because he had just finished training to become a U.S. Marine at Parris Island, South Carolina.

Lindsey told the graduates that although the circumstances haven’t been ideal, “life’s not about what happens to you, but how you react to what happens to you.”

He then presented Mooreville’s Class of 2020 with cheers from the audience as the graduates threw their caps into the air.

blake.alsup@journalinc.com

Twitter: @AlsupTheWriter

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