Principal Goes Viral for Traveling 800 Miles to Visit All 612 Graduating Seniors

A principal goes viral for traveling 800 miles to visit all 612 graduating high school seniors of their school. His efforts did not go to waste as the students truly felt special and netizens thought it was sweet of him to go through all that, just to make the students happy.

Modified Graduations

Photo credit: Virdie Montgomery / YouTube

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of establishments, offices, and schools have been temporarily closed to help stop the spread of the disease.

But this came at the time when schools are still in the middle or about to end the term. This meant that for most graduating students, no graduation ever happened. While authorities agree that schools could still do real graduations when the crisis is over, the pandemic continues to rage months into 2020. Thus, many urge schools to do modified graduations, instead.

Principal Virdie Montgomery of Wylie High School in Wylie, Texas realized that the seniors at the school won’t be able to graduate in the same way as everyone else had done in the past.

They’re going to miss the typical senior experience. So, he decided that since these students are going through a tough time, he could cheer them up by giving them a unique graduation experience! With the help of the school’s student data, he got the addresses of the graduating seniors and surprised them at their homes.

Principal Montgomery personally visited all 612 graduating seniors, logging in over 800 miles as he roamed around the city, searching for their homes and giving them a sweet surprise. It took him 12 days to finish the task, with his wife driving so he could easily hop in and out of the car to spend a few minutes with the students, practicing social distancing and appropriate anti-COVID measures, of course.

I would walk up to the door wearing a pirate mask, I’d knock on the door and the parent would have to go get them out of bed or wherever they were, and they’d come to the door and I’d tell them, ‘Things aren’t really happy at Wylie High School right now because you guys aren’t there, but one of these days we’re gonna snicker about it.’ And I’d hand them one of those little fun Snickers and a card and we’d go from there,” the principal narrated.

He took selfies with the students or had family members as stand-ins just in case the students weren’t around. The result is this sweet video:

Options for Modified Graduations

There are a number of ways for modified graduations to be done, but most have to rely on internet and modern technology. In Japan, a school used avatar robots to act as the students, with their faces flashed live on the robots’ iPad ‘faces’ while the students make video calls from home.

Most schools simply make a video of all the graduating students, posting it online. Others did ‘live’ graduations on video apps.