Thompson High School holds Parade of Graduates

By NATHAN HOWELL | Staff Writer

ALABASTER – As graduation quickly approaches, seniors at Thompson High School are getting the opportunity to go through some of the more traditional motions that seniors typically get to experience.

On Friday, April 30 seniors took part in the school’s Parade of Graduates that kicked off on campus with a march along Warrior Parkway.

Dr. Wesley Hester described this as a “breath of fresh air” for both students and faculty as it marked the end of a year that saw many moments lost to the pandemic.

“It was such an awesome experience to be able to hold this event for our seniors,” Hester said. “It was just as special or even more so just knowing that they were so happy and grateful for the opportunity.”

While this was not exactly how the school had put on these festivities before, they did resemble some of what THS had done in the past.

“Normally we end at the high school and parade around inside the building, however this year we started at THS and went around the outside of the school with the band, cheerleaders and the visual ensemble,” Hester explained. “A lot of parents came out to see them and it was just a really exciting day.”

After the parade was over the students loaded up in the buses and paid a visit to students at each of the other schools in the district.

“Just to see the excitement that day from our kids, the seniors and the parents made it all worth it,” Hester said. “There were cheers and fanfare and it was just as good as it has ever been. It was truly an awesome experience and it was good to have the opportunity to do so. We are so grateful for the superintendent, the school board and our faculty for setting the stage to be able to do that.”

There was a significant effort that was put in place to ensure the safety of the visits for all of the students and faculty.

According to Hester, school administrators and senior sponsors such as Pam Vickers, Brad Boy and Amanda Harvie put together the event in a way where all students would be able to safely participate in this tradition. Hester said that he had assistance with the busses from Samuel Thigpen.

“The precautions that they took in making extra preparations when it comes to leaning and setting up the visits with the graduates at teach of the different school buildings made this a successful event,” Hester said. “Our custodial and maintenance crews across the school system came back through and used some of our state-of-the-art technology to disinfect the busses and the hallways where our seniors visited.”

As the seniors prepare to graduate and move on to the next phase of their lives, the school system hopes that events like this show them they are cared for and they will be missed when the time comes.

“It was a great time that reminded all of us how much team work, collaboration and the overall spirit that we have in our school and community shines through when it comes to our students,” Hester said. “It meant a lot to a wide variety of people and it was a very good day.”