Keyser High School seniors donned their caps and gowns beginning Monday to film a virtual graduation ceremony to be viewed later online.

By Liz Beavers

Tribune Managing Editor

KEYSER - It is not “official” yet, and it certainly isn’t the graduation they expected, but members of the senior class of Keyser High School began today putting on their caps and gowns to participate in one step of what will undoubtedly be one of the most unique graduations in Mineral County history.

The graduates are participating in a virtual graduation. With cap and gown, they are meeting in small socially-distant groups and walking across the stage, where they receive a mock diploma from principal Lois Spencer.

The filming process, under the direction of teacher Mike Staggers, is spread over three days in order to allow for all 170 seniors to participate without jeopardizing the safety recommendations under the ongoing pandemic.

According to Staggers, the filmed footage will be professionally edited together and parents of each graduate will be provided a free download.

“It will also be posted on all our official school media,” he said.

The video will be shown May 30 at 7 p.m., Spencer said, “because we wanted it to seem like it was live at the actual time of graduation.”

And while the buzz in the hallway outside the auditorium Monday afternoon was upbeat as the seniors gathered to wait their turn to be filmed, some of them noted there is still a sense of disappointment that COVID-19 robbed them of their evening in the spotlight.

“Yes, I’m a little disappointed,” Makayla Greason said, to which her friend Szbre Darden added, “Well, I’m a LOT.”

Students at Frankfort High School will be filming their virtual graduation Wednesday and Thursday.