Decatur senior rides in style at the goodbye parade on Friday, June 12.

Decatur senior rides in style at the goodbye parade on Friday, June 12.

Unusual last year of high school comes to an end for graduating seniors

Senior car parades were hosted across the Federal Way district prior to Saturday’s commencement ceremonies.

Wearing caps and gowns in decorated vehicles filled with friends and family members, graduating seniors waved goodbye to their final year of high school on Friday afternoon.

In lieu of in-person traditions such as last day of school farewells or “moving up” assemblies, the high school students participated in senior car parades at various locations across the district due to the school closures amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

At Decatur High School on the soggy June 12 afternoon, dozens of teachers lined the main drive in front of the building wearing spirit gear, armed with umbrellas, pompoms and congratulatory signs.

Seniors cruised by their soon-to-be former teachers with big smiles and shouts of “thank you” that could be heard over the honking of car horns.

“It’s the last time we’re going to get to see the seniors,” said Decatur Principal Jamie Tough. “It’s our last chance to say goodbye and show them how excited we are for them.”

Principal Tough was the first staff member greeting seniors at the start of the parade as she handed out graduation ceremony programs, Decatur pins and school pennants. The commencement ceremonies for all of the high schools in the Federal Way district air virtually Saturday, June 13.

Despite the weather quite literally raining on their parade, Tough said “it still feels like we got a celebratory end to our year.”

Photos by Olivia Sullivan, Mirror reporter


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A Decatur senior rides in style at the goodbye parade on Friday, June 12.

A Decatur senior rides in style at the goodbye parade on Friday, June 12.

A Decatur staff member takes cover from the rain while celebrating the graduating class of 2020.

A Decatur staff member takes cover from the rain while celebrating the graduating class of 2020.

A Decatur senior waves to soon-to-be former teachers on Friday, June 12.

A Decatur senior waves to soon-to-be former teachers on Friday, June 12.

Dozens of staff members lined up to bid farewell to the Class of 2020 on June 12.

Dozens of staff members lined up to bid farewell to the Class of 2020 on June 12.

A Decatur staff member reacts as a member of a graduate’s family releases a confetti cannon on June 12.

A Decatur staff member reacts as a member of a graduate’s family releases a confetti cannon on June 12.

A Decatur staff member cheers and waves to seniors on June 12.

A Decatur staff member cheers and waves to seniors on June 12.

Two Decatur seniors smile as they exit the parade route on June 12.

Two Decatur seniors smile as they exit the parade route on June 12.

A Decatur staff member gives two thumbs up as her sign wishes seniors good luck next year at “Zoom University.”

A Decatur staff member gives two thumbs up as her sign wishes seniors good luck next year at “Zoom University.”

A Decatur senior rides in style at the goodbye parade on Friday, June 12.

A Decatur senior rides in style at the goodbye parade on Friday, June 12.

A Decatur senior rides in style at the goodbye parade on Friday, June 12.

A Decatur senior rides in style at the goodbye parade on Friday, June 12.

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