Republic High School class of 2020 seated graduation canceled

Steve Chapman

Supt. Pearce announces COVID diagnosis, calls off graduation on eve of event to be held at Missouri State’s JQH
Students in Republic High School’s class of 2020 received some disappointing news on the evening of Friday, July 31. Their seated graduation ceremony, scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 1, was canceled.
In a video which was e-mailed to the students’ families and posted to the high school’s Facebook page, Dr. Matt Pearce, superintendent of schools, explained the reasons for the cancelation. During the video, he revealed he had just tested as positive for COVID-19 that day. Because of this, several high school administrators who were in close contact with him earlier in the week and who were also part of the graduation ceremony, went in self-quarantine for 14 days. As a result, Pearce said, it had been decided to call off the graduation ceremony.
“As the father of a 2020 graduate, I understand the desire to put some final touches on the end of a difficult 2020 graduating class year,” he said. “However, we believe it is in the best safety interests of our students, staff and community to not have seated graduation tomorrow at JQH Arena … as scheduled.”
Pearce also said that some of the administrators in self-quarantine were at the graduation rehearsal held Friday morning at the high school, however, no students came into contact with them.
“None of the students who were at graduation practice today were directly exposed to a known positive case or need to self-quarantine,” he said.
 Pearce also described the cancelation as an example of how fluid the situation with COVID-19 is.
“The only constant in the COVID-19 world is that change is going to occur,” he said.
Pearce ended his message by saying he was sorry for announcing the cancelation so close to the scheduled time for the ceremony, but added it was being done to ensure no one else contracted the virus.
“We apologize for the timeliness of this message, but feel it is best for the safety of all involved if we do not have seated graduation tomorrow,” he said.
A message accompanying Dr. Pearce’s video in the e-mail said the district would be seeking input from the RHS class of 2020 to determine whether or not to reschedule the ceremony. It also thanked the students and parents for their understanding during the situation.
“We are appreciative of your grace and patience as we work through all of the challenges that COVID-19 is creating,” the message read. “Together we will get through this situation because “We are Republic and that’s what we do!”


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


Please Login for Premium Content