Willis ISD makes plans for in-person graduations

Superintendent Tim Harkrider gave an update on Willis ISD's graduation plans April 24. (Screenshot courtesy Tim Harkrider)
Superintendent Tim Harkrider gave an update on Willis ISD's graduation plans April 24. (Screenshot courtesy Tim Harkrider)

Superintendent Tim Harkrider gave an update on Willis ISD's graduation plans April 24. (Screenshot courtesy Tim Harkrider)

Willis ISD is looking into options for in-person graduation, according to an April 24 YouTube video by Superintendent Tim Harkrider.

Harkrider said that if it is allowed to do so by the Texas Education Agency, the district would like to hold graduation May 22, either in Willis High School’s performing arts center or in Yates Stadium. He also said that while TEA plans to release standards for virtual graduations, there has been no information on in-person events.

“I think, in reality, we know there will be limited attendance,” Harkrider said. “We feel like an outdoor venue is probably gonna be our best [shot] to get more people there.”

In order to prepare for necessary social distancing, Harkrider, whose own son is in the WHS class of 2020, said he has been in conversation with The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in The Woodlands for possible dates June 6 and 11 as well as at Sam Houston State University on Aug. 6.

Harkrider said WISD residents should be patient as the district makes plans and details unfold.


“We’re working to do everything we can for this senior class,” Harkrider said. “It’s a special one for me. ... I’ve obviously looked forward to handing my own son his diploma, and I look forward, hopefully very soon, to have that opportunity to hand all seniors of 2020 their diplomas.”
By Andy Li
Originally from Boone, North Carolina, Andy Li is a graduate of East Carolina University with degrees in Communication with a concentration in Journalism and Political Science. While in school, he worked as a performing arts reporter, news, arts and copy editor and a columnist at the campus newspaper, The East Carolinian. He also had the privilege to work with NPR’s Next Generation Radio, a project for student journalists exploring radio news. Moving to Houston in May 2019, he now works as the reporter for the Conroe/Montgomery edition of Community Impact Newspaper.


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