Youngstown school holds drive-in, shows graduation on the big-screen

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They worked with the Mahoning County Health Board to ensure safety guidelines were in place

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – As schools navigate the challenge of holding graduation ceremonies during the pandemic, a Youngstown school wanted to get creative.

With the help of a local church, graduates from Valley Christian Schools were able to get their diplomas on a big-screen for every to see.

“We knew that this capability existed, and it was done here, so we knew it could be successful,” said Shelley Murray, Vice President of Valley Christian Schools.

Murray and staff at Valley Christian schools decided if drive-in churches work in this parking, so would a graduation.

Murray worked with the Mahoning County Health Board to ensure safety guidelines were in place.

Students were called individually to go into the church and walk the stage as their classmates watched in real time.

“It makes me really proud of my school that we would think outside the box and actually come up with an idea like this,” said Class President Beckie Piroch.

Piroch says her graduation day was different than she always imagined.

She says her classmates agree.

They knew there was a chance they wouldn’t be able to meet in person on graduation day.

“The only thing I can ask is to be there with them and I am, so I’m happy,” Piroch said.

Each graduate was permitted two cars and up to four family members for the ceremony.

Everyone was recommended to wear a mask.

Murray says they’re lucky to have a small 2020 graduation class.

“We only had 40 graduates this year and that really enabled us to be able to do these things and really specialize for our students,” Murray said.

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