Virtual graduation leaves lasting impact on seniors

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)– Graduation for Bibb County seniors looked very different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Westside High School graduate, Kaitlyn Reeves, says although her graduation ceremony was not what she expected, she is thankful she had anything at all.

“Even though we didn’t get the in-person graduation it was still nice just being there and getting the illusion of it,” Reeves stated, “It was a big transition but at the end of the day, I’m still appreciative of it.”

Director of Student Support Services, Beverly Stewart, says planning the ceremony was difficult, but the school district did its best to honor the class of 2020.

“Traditional graduation is the best way to go when we can, but of course because of situations beyond our control we had to come up with a plan B. aWe still wanted to make sure that we were giving the graduates the recognition they deserve,” said Stewart.

Reeves says although graduation was different, it taught her a very important life lesson.

“It really showed me to not take anything for granted,” Reeves said, “You know we would always say ‘I’m so ready to graduate, I’m so ready to get out of High School’ but now we see that that can be easily taken away with just the snap of a finger.”

Each virtual graduation from July 29 and 30, can be viewed on the Bibb County Schools YouTube channel.

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Peyton Lewis is a 20-year-old reporter from Stockbridge, Georgia. She graduated in December of 2019 with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia. She found a love for reporting after receiving a video camera for her 8th birthday. She and her friends would make mock newscasts in her backyard other creative content. Peyton's love for writing and creating videos pushed her to pursue journalism. In order to kick-start her dream of being a reporter, she left the traditional high school experience at the age of 16 to attend Gordon State College as a full-time student. She graduated with her Associate's degree two weeks before graduating from high school. Previously, Peyton worked as a news intern for 11 Alive in Atlanta, a radio intern for the Joy FM, and a reporter/ technical manager for Grady Newsource. Peyton dreams to become an investigative reporter that leaves a lasting impact on the world around her. She loves Disney, dogs, spicy food, musicals, and her family. Peyton also enjoys reading, watching movies, cheering on the Dawgs, and going on new adventures.