By Ted Shockley


In theater and show business, the old adage insists “the show must go on.” During the coronavirus era, Accomack County Public Schools has used some creativity to ensure that high-school graduations will go on.

Each of Accomack County’s high schools will have graduations in large parking-lot ceremonies that will be broadcast live on WESR 103.3 FM, Superintendent Chris Holland said.

Social distancing and state building-capacity regulations related to coronavirus have precluded schools from holding traditional graduations.

But at Nandua, Arcadia and Chincoteague high schools, and at Tangier Combined School, drive-up ceremonies will be held, complete with speeches by valedictorians and salutatorians.

Graduates will sit in their cars during the ceremonies in high-school parking lots. All attendees are asked to stay in their vehicles. On Tangier Island, the ceremony will take place at the airport. Not only will there be speakers at the site, those in attendance can listen on WESR.

In fact, everyone listening to WESR will be able to hear the graduation.

“I’m humbled we can do it,” said Holland, expressing appreciation for school staffs, local law-enforcement and WESR for coordination work.

WESR is available to assist with similar graduations for other area high schools.

Graduation ceremonies will be held Monday, June 1 at Chincoteague High; Wednesday, June 3 at Arcadia High; Thursday, June 4 at Nandua High; and Friday, June 5 at Tangier Combined School. The start time for each is 7 p.m. WESR unfortunately will not be carrying Tangier’s Graduation.

Holland said it will be an opportunity to show appreciation for those receiving their high-school diplomas.

“The biggest thing to a graduate is a thank-you,” he said. “They deserve it.”