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Principal surprises 220 graduates with a celebratory visit to their home

A principal in North Carolina made sure that, even in this time of social distancing and stay-at-home orders, each one of his seniors got the recognition they deserved, with a sign and a little love from the school and community as a whole.

Tabari Wallace, the principal at West Craven High School in Vanceboro, North Carolina, and a group of teachers drove to each of the school’s 220 graduating seniors on April 27 to congratulate them in person as the Class of 2020. As he showed up to each student’s home, Wallace wore a cap and gown and carried a sign bearing the graduate’s senior class photo.

He shared with ABC News on Monday why it was so important for him and the teachers and staff at West Craven to honor the graduates.

“We decided to deliver signs along with a parade … because we believe that they’ve been through enough and that’s the least we can do,” he said Monday. “We asked each senior to let that sign serve as a bridge until we can get them across the traditional stage. Our kids elected, through student voice, that they wanted a traditional graduation with all the pomp and circumstance so this particular school is going to make sure that our kids graduate on Aug. 1 or Dec. 19.”

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Across the U.S., principals have been showing their students that their accomplishments have not been forgotten and are to be celebrated.

In Florida, Wellington High School principal Cara Hayden planted a sign in valedictorian Max Lagates’ yard. The school placed signs at the homes of all 626 students.

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And, in Texas, Wylie High School principal Virdie Montgomery visited each graduating senior’s home, traveling about 800 miles total.

West Craven’s Wallace shared his hope for seniors across America.

“To all other graduates, I tell you right now. We believe in you. We trust in you. We’re proud of you. And, we definitely empathize with what you’re going through. You keep your head up high because you are the testament of the 21st century. Perseverance through the face of danger. And then we all come out on top,” he said.