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City honors Class of 2020 on special day

Cleveland High School Anayah Clawson, second from right, records memories with her family Wednesday at the Field of Grads at the Rio Rancho Sports Complex. Class of 2020 members were honored with individual signs, since they couldn’t have a traditional commencement, and were invited to take their signs home after two days of the display. Photo by Gary Herron.

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — Another chapter in the lives of the city’s Class of 2020 graduates ended last Wednesday evening.

Following Monday and Tuesday’s availability for residents, parents and students to view congratulatory photo signs for the graduating seniors, students picked up their signs Wednesday to keep as a permanent memento from the Field of Grads at the Rio Rancho Sports Complex. Mayor Gregg Hull invited students to display their signs in their front yards to celebrate Class of 2020 Day.

The ASK Academy, a charter school not affiliated with Rio Rancho Public Schools, was invited to join in the Field of Grads but set to have graduation ceremonies at the school May 30.

For RRPS graduates, as a real sign of the times, some of the celebration was virtual: The district, along with Edit House, created videos to celebrate the 1,200 graduates at RRPS’s four high schools: Rio Rancho, Cleveland, Independence and Cyber Academy.

All four videos, with parents notified via email the evening of May 26, were available on the RRPS YouTube Channel on May 27, Class of 2020 Day. The celebration videos feature photos submitted by students’ families, as well as speeches from the valedictorians, salutatorians and special guests.

The City of Rio Rancho is also airing the celebration videos on their RioVision Government TV cable channel 56, accessible to Rio Rancho residents who are Sparklight/CableOne subscribers.

On Wednesday, RRPS’s Facebook page honored graduates with congratulatory messages — celebrating the futures of those going on to college, receiving scholarships and joining the military. At 8:20 p.m. — 2020 in military time — residents were encouraged to cheer and honk car horns for graduates during the Community Cheer.

Also Wednesday evening, all RRHS athletic field lights went on at 8:20 to glow for 20 minutes, 20 seconds. The idea for that was apparently born in Texas, further developed in Colorado and supported by many others during the past several weeks.

This overhead shot shows the design in which more than 1,200 signs, each representing a Rio Rancho graduating senior, were laid out last week at the Rio Rancho Sports Complex. Courtesy of the City of Rio Rancho.

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