COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – Thursday Harlem High School kicked off Columbia County School System’s graduation ceremonies.
“I’m very emotional because it’s my baby. It’s my last one out of five,” parent Sharon Rogers said.
“He’s the class president so he’s a little nervous. He has to give a speech, but I know he’ll knock it out of the park,” parent Alfonso Gibbs said.
Harlem High School graduates, friends, and families packed into Columbia County Performing Arts Center just as the rain began pouring down.
Due to weather, there was a last minute venue change from Evans Towne Center Park, where attendance was unlimited, to the Columbia County Performing Arts Center. At the performing arts center, there are only 1,900 tickets to go around.
“We had 14 people coming and she had to choose which ones were going to be able to come. Like I said, she’s been really stressed about it,” Rogers said.
“It was disappointing because we had a lot of family and friends that were looking forward to seeing him graduate tonight, but they’ll stream it online and watch it at home,” Gibbs said.
Friday, Lakeside and Evans High School commencements are scheduled at Columbia County Performing Arts Center, yet families are hoping the threat of bad weather subsides so the graduation can happen at Evans Towne Center.
There is no threat of bad weather Saturday, which means Grovetown and Greenbrier High School graduations will take place at Evans Towne Center.
“It’s so amazing that I’m finally graduating. The four years, that was a lot of stress, but I got there. We all did. I’m so happy for everybody graduating this year,” Grovetown graduating senior Tyyazmin Calhoun said.
Grovetown soon-to-be graduates say their hearts go out to students who won’t be able to bring their entire families to graduation because of bad weather.
“I’m very happy because we do not have to have tickets so all my family will still be able to come, but I do feel bad for the other schools that have limited access and have to do tickets. I do feel bad for them,” Grovetown graduating senior Reina Way said.
All Columbia County graduations will be live streamed.