CLEARWATER, Fla. — Sienna Piazza never thought this would be the way she would graduate high school: waiting in a car to hear her name called.

What You Need To Know

  • The car parade replaced traditional graduation ceremony

  • There were no handshakes, but students still got diplomas

  • Student described it as "even more special" than regular event

  • COMPLETE COVERAGE: Spectrum News | CDC | Florida Department of Health

Clearwater Central Catholic High School organized the parade instead of a traditional ceremony due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is very different not doing it how it typically should be done. But it’s also exciting that they made it work and figured out how to make us graduate,” Piazza said.

Instead of being seated with their friends at a ceremony, students at CCCHS stayed in their cars with their families. Cars were decorated as they made their way through campus, complete with a constant loop of "Pomp and Circumstance."

The ceremony didn't only consist of the parade — the Class of 2020 did end up getting their moment on stage.

They may not have been able to shake hands with school leaders, but students did get their diploma and a picture taken.

“In the beginning, I thought the students were going to be cheated,” said John Venturella, the school’s president. “And that saddened me terribly. But now I think they’re going to have something unique, that God willing, no other class will ever have again.”

That’s exactly how many of the graduates feel. Even though they missed out on a traditional senior year, they’ll start the rest of their lives out like no other class has.

“I think it’s even more special, because the Class of 2020 will all have this in common," graduate Luke Stone said.

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