Terry Parker’s graduates given parade on final day of ‘class’

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – On the last day for seniors of Duval County Public Schools, Terry Parker High School held a parade to celebrate the Class of 2020.

While the final months of the school year looked a little different, teachers found a special way to send off their students.

Terry Parker Principal Megan Mckinney, teachers and administrators were able to see their students in person for the first time in months for a send-off.

“We are celebrating all of our students graduates 2020,” McKinney said. “Our theme this year is that you matter and at Terry Parker are seniors they mattered because we had individual plans for each senior.”

The parade included a competition for the best-decorated car for the college or service the students will be attending as well as a competition for the best quarantine mask.

“Decorating the car was probably the most fun that I’ve had in a while,” said Ashley Saddler, who will attend FAMU in the fall.

Terry Parker High School graduates parade (Brittany Muller/WJXT)

Students said the parade brought them joy on their last day of school.

“It’s pretty exciting because I’m glad they actually showed out; I’m glad these students actually decided to do it,” said Anthony Bello-Sanchez, who will be heading to LSU.

Bello-Sanchez told News4Jax that virtual learning was a bummer at first, but added he’s proud of his class on how they accomplished it.

Each student participating was able to receive a goodie bag personalized with the college they’re attending.

“It’s nice to see everybody come out and the teachers appreciate us and us appreciate the teachers,” said Darius Farmer, who will be attending UF.

Terry Parker High School graduates parade (Brittany Muller/WJXT)

McKinney said at first students were apprehensive with virtual learning.

“I think the attitude has changed it went from a little bit daunting to more positive things like this that we’re doing today have really helped,” McKinney said.

Mckinney said Terry Parker seniors were awarded over $9 million of scholarship money and she is proud of the amount of work this class has put in for post-secondary plans.

“It shows that we’re pretty strong and we can handle pretty much anything, especially during this pandemic time,” Bello-Sanchez said.

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