Schools Getting Creative Honoring Class of 2020

West Hartford's Kingswood Oxford and Hartford's Capital Preparatory Magnet School among those honoring graduating students in a non-traditional way.

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It a lot of ways the class of 2020 has robbed of its senior year. Lost were proms and spring sports, but many schools are determined to creatively give their seniors a proper sendoff.

In New Britain Friday, through the creative vision of Schaller Auto World and the use of their video billboard, Kingswood Oxford’s class of 2020 was celebrated in a way they’ll never forget.

Instead of caps and gowns, students from this private West Hartford school wore baseball hats and T-shirts. No crossing a stage, just students and their families sitting in cars watching a slide show high atop Schaller’s video billboard. All 93 graduates’ headshots were displayed, while horns honked honoring each one.

Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford celebrated the graduation of its seniors with a special victory lap celebration around the school.

“It’s a lot of mixed feelings because we are all here together and it’s really nice that we can still celebrate,” said Kingswood senior Emily Lemkuil.

Friday was supposed to be Kingswood’s actual graduation, something they still hope to have in some form later this summer. Traditionally, Kingswood honors its seniors on the school green. For now, students parked in New Britain’s VFW parking lot, watching and cheering at the video billboard overlooking Route 9.

Photos: Schools Getting Creative Honoring Class of 2020

“Kingswood has done a great job of trying to honor us and I think it’s really important that we were able to come together like this,” said senior Molly Jones of West Hartford.

In Hartford there was another celebration. Capital Preparatory Magnet School was not about to deny its seniors a celebration, as it gave them one last lap around their high school. It was a raucous parade that was met with overwhelming enthusiasm.

“It’s amazing,” said Shakur Coleman. “I honestly think we got the best graduation out of single class in Connecticut.”

With their bright orange and white graduation gowns flowing in the breeze, 35 graduates took a victory lap, that served as their high school commencement. Standing proudly, through their sun-roofs, students cruised Hartford’s main street while their parents drove. The parade ended with students picking up well-earned diplomas.

Photos: Schools Getting Creative Honoring Class of 2020

“I feel like it’s better having people outside congratulate us,” said Makahlia Harris of Hartford who said she preferred Friday's celebration to what would have traditionally happened.

Capital Prep is the first of 14 Hartford high schools to honor its graduates. It was a recognition this school knew its students deserved.

“No prom. No social justice conference. No graduation? Absolutely not,” said Principal Dr. Kitsia Ferguson. “We knew we had to do something and do it big.”

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