Graduation shifting to Buddy Echols Field to honor class of 2021 (with video)

Blanche Harris

Coppell+High+School+graduation+will+be+at+Buddy+Echols+Field+on+May+28.+While+the+date+and+location+are+set%2C+CHS+is+still+making+decisions+on+the+capacity+limitations+due+to+COVID-19.

Blanche Harris

Coppell High School graduation will be at Buddy Echols Field on May 28. While the date and location are set, CHS is still making decisions on the capacity limitations due to COVID-19.

Akhila Gunturu, CHS9 Editor

On Feb. 4, Coppell ISD Superintendent Dr. Brad Hunt announced through an email to the class of 2021 that the in person graduation ceremonies for Coppell High School and New Tech High @ Coppell will be held at Buddy Echols Field. 

The ceremony for [email protected] will be on May 27 at 7 p.m., and the ceremony for CHS will be on May 28 at 7 p.m.

The decision to shift the ceremony to Buddy Echols Field is a result of wanting to honor seniors in a more meaningful location, as well as to allow for increased flexibility and better control of attendance and accommodations. 

“It’s all about traditions,” CHS associate principal Melissa Arnold said. “How much time have [students] spent here at Coppell High School? To be able to really graduate, at home, where [students] families are able to come and see you – we were excited to make that transition.”

By shifting the location to Buddy Echols Field, CISD is able to better accommodate for COVID-19 safety precautions, such as wearing masks, social distancing and having limited attendance. The change is also financially beneficial for CISD, as it eliminates the need to rent a venue. 

“It’s a great idea,” CHS senior Divya Ravindra said. “I didn’t think it would be possible to make this many meaningful relationships and be able to talk to so many people online. Being able to even have an in-person graduation ceremony, especially during a time like this, I am not complaining at all.”

Last year, along with an optional in-person graduation ceremony at Globe Life Field in Arlington, a virtual graduation ceremony was also held. This year, instead of having a separate virtual ceremony, the two in person ceremonies will be livestreamed. 

“It’s one of your major milestones to walk across the stage and receive years of hard work and close that chapter,” CHS Principal Laura Springer said. “I just want to give [seniors] that opportunity to celebrate with family. There’s something about a parent watching a senior child walking across the stage. [It is] one of the most satisfying experiences of a parent’s life. Later on in your life, you’ll recognize that when it is your child walking across [the stage].”

While more information will be released closer to the event, the number of tickets per graduate will be limited, and the number of people in attendance will be determined by state and local guidelines at the time of the ceremonies. 

“It’s nice to walk across the stage at [University of North Texas in Denton], but that’s not your home,” Arnold said. “This is where you went to high school. [Students] have persevered through a pandemic. [Students] didn’t do school the way that you had been trained to. [Students] overcame all the obstacles; [students] did what [they] needed to do to be able to see the final countdown happen and to receive that graduation diploma. This is where [students are] graduating from, so why shouldn’t it all take place [here]?”

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