First evening graduation in years
Approximately 285 members of the PHS Class of 2021 will graduate Friday evening, May 21st in Dragon Stadium.
The ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. as graduates take their seats on the field to Pomp and Circumstance. Senior Class Secretary Sarah Cottrell will deliver the invocation followed by Emma Long singing the national anthem and the PHS Chorus Ensemble will lead the senior class singing the alma mater.
Senior Class Vice President Clayton Shoffer will introduct the graduation speaker, SRO Deputy Kevin Roach. Brooke Bell will deliver the salutatory address followed by class Valedictorian Heather Vincent delivering her speech to the class.
Pickens High School Principal Chris Wallace will then present the Class of 2021 as he is joined by Superintendent Tony Young and Senior Class President Alyssa Ray in awarding the diplomas.
Following the diploma presentation, Summer O’Dea, senior class treasurer, will present the class song, I’ll Always Remember by Miley Cyrus. Senior Class President Alyssa Ray will then deliver the president’s speech.
For those attending graduation, free, air-conditioned and curbside shuttle service will be offered. Pick-up and drop-off locations will be at Pickens Junior High School, Chattahoochee Technical College and Royston, LLC. According to a press release from the school system regarding the planned ceremony: “Graduating at night creates a few logistical and safety issues that must be addressed. Among the most important of these issues is parking. We have worked closely with the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office to devise an effective and efficient plan to ensure the safety of our guests is our top priority. Multiple shuttling options, traffic flow plans and parking strategies have all been considered. The plan to create the best and safest experience possible for our guests includes:
Parking alongside Dragon Drive will not be allowed for this event. Returning to vehicles in the dark on an unlighted road poses a significant danger to our guests.
There is enough space to park three cars per graduate on campus. Therefore, each graduate will receive three parking passes for them and their family to access Dragon Drive on May 21st beginning at 4:30 p.m. We realize that this may take some forethought and planning on the part of the families.
Parking passes should be displayed on the dash (driver’s side) upon entering Dragon Drive. Cars attempting to enter without a pass will be directed to a shuttle location. This pass should be visible in each vehicle throughout the event.
At Pickens Junior High School, 1802 Refuge Road, Jasper, the bus shuttles will load on the gym side of the school. At Chattahoochee Tech, 100 Campus Drive, shuttles will load at the front entry of the school (parking lot at Burnt Mountain Road and Pioneer Rd.). The bus shuttles will load at Royston, LLC, 1 Pickroy Road, Jasper, at the main parking lot. A tent will be set-up at the loading area. All shuttles will leave each of the three locations at 5:15 and 6 p.m. headed to the PHS stadium.
At the conclusion of graduation, shuttle passengers will be returned to their cars.
In the event of rain, the graduation ceremony will be moved inside to the PHS gymnasium. Graduates will report at 5 p.m. and doors for guests will open at 5:30 p.m.
Each graduate will receive four guest tickets for the gym and two tickets for the Performing Arts Center (PAC). In the PAC, graduation will be live-streamed and the graduates will walk through the PAC (from the gym) after receiving their diploma. All guests will be required to present a ticket upon entering. Graduates will be given the allotted number of tickets for their guests at the mandatory graduation practice.