On a beautiful midweek evening in the middle of May, Kell High School hosted an LED car parade for its graduating seniors. Hundreds of vehicles filled with students and family members stretched around the Kell campus to celebrate the Class of 2020.
Fireworks filled the sky, while faculty and administrators cheered on the graduates amid pulsing colorful lights along the parade route. They called it the “Bright Future Parade,” and it was a celebration that will not be soon forgotten.
“The Class of 2020 will always remember this moment,” said one very appreciative parent.
“I’m still in pure awe at how Kell managed to give the class of 2020 something so very special,” said another.
Each student received a personalized announcement at the end of the parade, declaring their accomplishments at Kell as well as their future plans.
“The energy was amazing and so refreshing,” said parent Denise Cortez. “It wasn’t just the celebrating, but the celebrating TOGETHER that made it such a great night for the seniors. I’ve been hearing from parents and kids how incredible this event was and how much they all loved it.”
Kell Principal Dr. Peter Giles was ecstatic with the turnout and how the evening went overall.
“This was one of the most amazing nights I have witnessed as an educator!” he said excitedly. “Our staff and our community worked together to throw a one-of-a-kind parade. I am honored to be a part of this. Thank you to the Class of 2020 for an incredible year!”
Athletic Director Richard Norman was on hand for the event and was all smiles behind his COVID-19 mask.
“All of the work and planning that (AP) Ben Needle and his volunteers did to bring about this celebration really paid off. It goes to show just how much the students mean to the staff members here at Kell.”
Assistant Principal Needle could be heard whooping and hollering his support of the seniors all night.
“This event was the culmination of what true community looks, sounds, and feels like,” he said proudly. “Within minutes of asking the staff for help, responses started flowing in and a majority had signed up within the hour.”
“Over 200 of our graduates were in attendance,” Mr. Needle continued. “Whether they were in their daily driver, a special truck, limousine, or if the vehicle was covered in neon or not, it didn’t matter. All were there to celebrate! We LOVED to see our Kell family together once again!”
A moving tribute at the end of the procession was dedicated to late Kell senior Kayleigh Neste. Kayleigh died in a tragic car accident near the school in January. Eight vehicles carried one letter each spelling out “KAYLEIGH” at the tail-end of the parade. It was a sobering conclusion to an otherwise festive event.
Kell High School wasn’t the only school in Cobb to hold parades in honor of the Class of 2020. Other schools are also holding drive through diploma celebrations including McEachern High School, Hillgrove High School, and Pope High School on May 28 and Harrison High School and Lassiter High School on May 29. Some schools, like Kennesaw Mountain High School, Osborne High School, and Campbell High School, have already held diploma celebration events.