Lusher High School seniors celebrate graduation with unique ceremony

Updated: May. 24, 2020 at 9:28 AM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Lusher Charter School’s class of 2020 is celebrating a milestone.

The school’s graduates received their diplomas Saturday in a unique ceremony.

It was the first of its kind for the charter school, but one alumni won’t soon forget.

"I'm really excited. I finally graduated from high school and I get to go off to the next step of college. I can't wait to go!" exclaimed Lusher Graduate Quenten Crump.

Moments after moving his tassel, Crump was still overwhelmed; the day having far exceeded his expectations.

"Having this little stage set up, man, I didn't really think it was gonna be all this," said Crump. "When they said we were going to drive around, I was like, 'oh there's gonna be a few people there,' but, no! There were a lot of people there!"

Before graduates, one by one, walked across a makeshift stage, having received their diploma from a safe distance, they caravaned Uptown on a specific route.

Along the way, students passed more than 250 Lusher homes and both campuses in what was dubbed, the “Senior Stroll”.

Jennifer Iapichao lives in one of those homes with her husband and three children.

"We just want to be excited for the graduates. We've all been there. We know what graduation looks like so it should be fun," Iapichao said.

Dwight Brown does not have any children at Lusher, but he says it was important to support the graduates.

“We wait for that from elementary school. I want to graduate one day and look at their faces, it’s so nice. And all the people out here,” explained Brown. “It tells you a lot about the city.”

"Supporting the graduates, especially during coronavirus, during this tough time, it's kind of appreciated for a lot of people," said Sebastian Magee.

Magee should know. He graduated from Holy Cross this year and says the senior experience was not the same as what he imagined growing up.

Lusher graduate Jebreil Alaewan says "it's a lot."

“2020 has just been a roller coaster to say the least. It’s actually quite amazing how a lot of people were able to come together to do online school,” Alaewan said.

Alaewan credits his teachers for helping him to maintain motivation while finishing his senior year from home.

“I am really thankful for this school. Now I’m at a 3.8 GPA,” he said.

Through a virtual commencement address, Lusher’s High School Principal Steven Corbett mirrored the sentiment.

"On behalf of our entire faculty and staff, to the class of 2020, we are proud of you. We are inspired by you and we love you," said Corbett.

It was a unique ceremony but, for many, no less unforgettable.

"It's the only time it's ever happened so they could embrace that and still walk away from the school with a great education and a lot of great friends and just using this as something to remember," Lusher Dean of Students J.J. Smith explained.

School leaders say they wanted to ensure each graduate could participate in the "Senior Stroll."

They were all sent car window markers, a cap, decorations, poster boards, and a cap and gown.

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