St. Michael’s Catholic Academy one of only Austin-area schools to host in-person graduation

St. Michael's Catholic Academy hosted an in-person graduation in June with safety measures in place. (Courtesy St. Michael's Catholic Academy)
St. Michael's Catholic Academy hosted an in-person graduation in June with safety measures in place. (Courtesy St. Michael's Catholic Academy)

St. Michael's Catholic Academy hosted an in-person graduation in June with safety measures in place. (Courtesy St. Michael's Catholic Academy)

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Graduating seniors received their diplomas through a contactless distribution. (Courtesy St. Michael's Catholic Academy)
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Attendees were seated with social distancing measures in place. (Courtesy St. Michael's Catholic Academy)
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Face masks were required for all guests. (Courtesy St. Michael's Catholic Academy)
On the evening of June 1, the senior class at St. Michael’s Catholic Academy in West Austin gathered for a community event many worried they would never experience—a graduation ceremony.

St. Michael’s was one of the only Austin-area schools that opted for an in-person graduation amid the coronavirus pandemic. The event was held outdoors at the high school’s Crusader Stadium with the safety of the community in mind.

Though families were able to experience a traditional ceremony, there were detailed precautions in place to ensure the community’s safety.

Attendees wore face masks, and seniors received their diplomas through a contactless distribution. Seating and parking arrangements were modified, and the ceremony served a limited capacity of guests.

Weeks prior, school officials were leaning toward postponing the event or offering an alternative virtual ceremony, much like neighboring districts. Then, on May 18, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Phase 2 of his plan to reopen Texas. The order allowed for public gatherings as early as June 1, and St. Michael’s faculty sprung into action.


“Everything came together to create a memorable event that marked an extraordinary final year for the Class of 2020,” a St. Michael’s press release said.

As travel and capacity restrictions remained in place, the event was also broadcasted to hundreds of family members and friends.
By Amy Rae Dadamo
Amy Rae Dadamo is the reporter for Lake Travis-Westlake, where her work focuses on city government and education. Originally from New Jersey, Amy Rae relocated to Austin after graduating from Ramapo College of New Jersey in May 2019.


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