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North Rock Creek student celebrates commencement despite COVID-19

Elisabeth Slay
Eighth grader at North Rock Creek Middle School Kylie Naas poses outside of the school in her cap and gown originally intended for her commencement ceremony.

Due to COVID-19 North Rock Creek Middle School student Kylie Naas couldn't celebrate her commencement ceremony, but despite the pandemic, the future high schooler celebrated with her family and friends at home and virtually.

According to Kylie, this last semester has been different as she and her fellow classmates stayed home from school and participated in distance learning.

"It was interesting to be part of history and watch how the schools responded to the COVID-19 pandemic," Kylie said.

The 14-year-old said while she's adapted the best she can to social distancing, there were some challenges she faced.

"It was strange working on assignments without having a teacher discussing the steps and explaining the information," Kylie said. "I missed being in the classrooms with my friends."

For Kylie's mother Melissa, she said it was difficult seeing her daughter not be able to celebrate or socialize as they had hoped and planned.

"I have struggled to watch our children miss school and social events during the COVID-19 lockdown," Melissa said. "Securing the health of our community is imperative, but it’s still difficult to see them miss milestones such as school dances, drivers tests and graduations. These events are such a big part of our children’s social growth as well as their path to independence."

If she were able to participate in the ceremony, Kylie said her family would have attended and they would have celebrated together.

"My family would have attended the ceremony to watch me walk across the stage to get my middle school diploma," Kylie said. "Afterwards we would have had dinner and a small celebration at my grandparents’ house."

However, Kylie said though things didn't go as planned she was still able to celebrate with family and friends.

"We have gotten a lot of messages on social media congratulating me on my graduation. My parents purchased a cake and balloons to have a small celebration at home," Kylie said. "I have had presents dropped off on my porch from my grandparents and aunt since we are still distancing to stay safe."

The future high schooler said she's grateful to her family for making the best of things and being there for her.

"I am thankful for the time I have spent with my family at home during the quarantine," Kylie said. "We have had more time together and things slowed down since everything has been cancelled. Staying up late and sleeping until noon has been the best part."

Overall Kylie said she is excited to start high school and the next exciting chapter of her life.

"Being in high school gives me a chance to take new classes that will help guide me to college," Kylie said. "I can’t wait to see what teachers I will have and what classes I will have on my freshman schedule."