2020 Bearcats receive caps, gowns; graduation set for May 22

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Cullman High School seniors Eli Ratliff, left, and Brett Patterson, right, pose with Cully, the Bearcat mascot, Friday at the school. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Cheers and congratulations could be heard over the back parking lot of Cullman High School Friday afternoon as members of the Class of 2020 drove through to receive their caps and gowns. An in-person graduation ceremony is set for Friday, May 22 at 7 p.m. at Oliver Woodard Stadium, and staff sent a strong message of love and support Friday for this senior class. Banners and signs were also hung in many places on the campus congratulating the 2020 Bearcats.

Principal Kim Hall and others from Cullman High School braved the pouring rain to greet each of the approximately 175 members of the 2020 senior class who drove through. After dropping off Chromebooks, textbooks and uniforms, the graduates continued to a second tent where Hall, school mascot Cully and others waited to hand them their caps, gowns and other goodies.

Each student received a yard sign reading, “Congratulations Graduate! CHS Class of 2020 We <3 You!” Frios Gourmet Pops also joined in, giving students their choice of flavors, with pink lemonade being the overwhelming favorite. Faculty and staff formed a line as students left the parking lot, bidding farewell to the students of what will undoubtedly be one of the most special classes to graduate Cullman High School. Some had personalized gifts for their students and final words of encouragement.

Hall, who was soaked from head to toe, was all smiles as she presented the graduates with their items.

“We had a really good turnout it seems,” she said. ‘I think we had all but maybe 15, but some of them had contacted me to let me know they would be out of town. We’ll get their things to them next week whenever they get back in town. We had a good time! We had Frios popsicles and everyone got a yard sign. They turned in their Chromebooks and textbooks and some of them had uniforms. We had a great showing from our teachers who came out to cheer on the kids, even in the rain. It was a lot of fun.”

Cullman City Schools Superintendent Dr. Susan Patterson sent the following statement Friday afternoon: “We are pleased to announce Cullman High School’s 108th commencement ceremony at Oliver Woodard Stadium on May 22, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. We will release details regarding procedures to be followed to adhere to social distancing guidelines at a later time. In the event of rain, the ceremony will be on May 23, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. We are excited to have this opportunity to celebrate the graduation of the Class of 2020.”

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Christy Perry

christy@cullmantribune.com