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Burnet High School commencement will happen, just not on May 22

Burnet High School planning commencement later this summer

Burnet High School's 2020 commencement won't happen on May 22 as originally planned, but school district officials hope to have one in June or, possibly, August. The high school will stream a Class of 2020 commemoration program May 22. Photo by Martelle Luedecke/Luedecke Photography

High school commencement isn’t just one night; it’s a celebration of the 4,749 days leading up to graduation. And Burnet High School is not letting that time and effort pass without a celebration — sometime in the future.

“We’re obviously not going to have (a commencement ceremony) May 22 as it was scheduled,” Burnet High School Principal Casey Burkhart said. “We plan to have it the first Friday in June that we can.”

If allowed by state and/or local government leaders, Burnet’s Class of 2020 will walk across the stage at 7:30 p.m. on either June 5, 12, 19, or 26.

Of course, plans are contingent upon the coronavirus crisis. Large gatherings have been restricted to slow the spread of the virus, which causes the respiratory disease COVID-19.

“If (officials) don’t allow us to have it on any of those days, then we’ll have it at 7:30 p.m. August 7,” Burkhart said.

He knows postponing it until August would mean students who have enlisted in the military or are attending college out of state might miss the commencement, so the district plans to hold smaller ceremonies to celebrate those graduates.

On the original commencement date, May 22, the district will stream a pre-produced program at 7 p.m. to celebrate Burnet’s Class of 2020.

But Burnet Consolidated Independent School District is committed to giving graduates a true send-off.

“Graduation is really about closing one chapter in their lives as they get ready to go off into a new one,” Burkhart said. “I think graduation is more than just about the seniors, and they’re definitely a big part of it, but it’s also about their families, and the teachers, and the community. This is a day the kids have been working toward when they started (prekindergarten) 13 years ago. It’s really the culminating event of 13 years of school, and we want to make sure they get to experience it.”

For more on how COVID-19 is affecting the Highland Lakes, visit the coronavirus resources webpage.