Graduates: Rome High School celebrates Class of 2020 with virtual graduation ceremony. Links to YouTube video, photos from Barron Stadium.

Graduates: Rome High School celebrates Class of 2020 with virtual graduation ceremony. Links to YouTube video, photos from Barron Stadium.

Rome High School’s honored it’s Class of 2020 in a virtual graduation ceremony on Saturday morning. RHS Principal Dr. Eric Holland, Valedictorian Aaron Bartleson and Salutatorian Carson Garrett each gave special speeches. Names and photos of each graduate were displayed.

Rome City Schools anticipates social distancing guidelines to allow us to have an in-person graduation in the near future. Tentatively, potential dates for this to take place at The Forum River Center in downtown Rome, on either Saturday, June 13 or Saturday, July 18. More details will be shared in near future.

Click here for 43 photos from Rome City Schools at Barron Stadium. Here are a few photos:

Media release: Today, the Rome High School Senior Class of the year 2020 earned their ticket to adulthood as the school held a virtual graduation ceremony Saturday morning. The event was shown online and on the big screen at Rome’s Historic Barron Stadium.

RHS Assistant Principal John Fricks was the opening speaker followed by Rome City Schools’ Superintendent Louis Byars, to whom is tied to this particular graduating class more than some may have known. “This class has a special place in my heart. I started the same year as you were a freshman.”

Following Mr. Byars was Rome City Schools Board of Education Chairman Faith Collins, and she spoke on behalf of the Board of Education, congratulating the seniors.

Rome High Principal Dr. Eric Holland spoke to his students about “the exit off the stage, and the new meaning of life after graduation. Hopefully, we, as a staff as well as your parents, have provided you the tools for your toolbox that you will need to defeat this thing called life.”

The ceremony’s Salutatorian Carson Garrett, spoke about the life lessons he’s gained from hearing back in the day stories from his elders, having his senior year of high school come to a halt because of COVID-19, and realizing that no one owes the class of 2020 anything because of the pandemic. “Perceiving ourselves as victims does not mean that we should be entitled to something. We often try to find excuses for our mistakes and actions, so we play the victim card. I don’t believe our elders are referencing our entitlement in the superficial sense. I think they are talking about our victimhood mentality”, he said, while telling his classmates not to look to be a victim, seek to live a life of victory. “RHS Class of 2020, while the future may be unclear, there is one thing we can know for certain, we will come out of COVID-19 changed, not as victims, but as victors. Let us be victorious.”

Valedictorian Aaron Bartleson compared the four years of high school to the anticipation, the actual event, and then the aftermath of an eclipse. “It’s almost cruel how reality will show you something so beautiful and then take it away. As much as you hate it, all eclipses will eventually come to an end. Planets and moons will follow their predetermined trajectories. The clock will keep ticking. Right now, as we are gathered here, around our computer screens and laptops for the virtual graduation ceremony, and it feels like our glorious four-year lunar eclipse has come to an end. The time has elapsed.

The entire Class of 2020 photo lineup was run, and Mr. Fricks closed the ceremony.

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