As graduation for the 2022 senior class is just around the corner, schools around the country are preparing celebrations for the soon to be alumni. Recently, the NHS senior class of 2022 had a change to their graduation ceremony.

Typical graduation for NHS graduates is set in the gymnasium where parents and family members can comfortably watch their students move on to new chapters in their lives. However, similar to last year’s ceremony, the new graduation will now be held on Naples High’s Staver Field.

“Graduation for the Class of 2022 will be held on Saturday, May 28, 2022, at 8:30 a.m. in the stadium,” principal Ellen Keegan said.

This change has led students to discuss the implications of the new setting and how it may affect their celebration.

“Although I wish it was indoors, it’s better to have an outdoor graduation than no graduation at all,” senior Drew McClendon said.

Due to implications of COVID-19 and its restrictions, Collier County schools were restricted to outside graduations only with a limited attendance and spaced apart seating being placed either on the field or in the bleachers during the class of 2021 graduation.

However, because the school was unable to have another virtual day on the Friday it was initially planned for, the graduation had to be switched from a Friday morning to a Saturday morning NHS Principal Ellen Keegan stated. NHS questioned by Principal Keegan we split on the decision on an outside or inside graduation, but ended up choosing the graduation outside on Staver field, similar to last year.

The senior class graduation of 2022 being outside and in an open area will allow more visitors and family members of each student to attend compared to being inside even with COVID restrictions. The new graduation arrangements was the only other option for CCPS to choose from, however.

“I feel like my class is split in opinion about the changes,” McClendon said. “Although some would have liked to have a graduation inside, they understand its outside graduation or no graduation at all.”