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“Graduate Together” Celebration on May 16 @ 8 pm on all major television platforms

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State Superintendent Congratulates Class of 2020

Message to Graduates Part of “Graduate Together” Celebration

RICHMOND — Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane today congratulated Virginia’s 2020 high school graduates for their perseverance in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and encouraged them to be a part of the “Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020” national multimedia celebration on Saturday, May 16 at 8 p.m. The hour-long tribute to the Class of 2020 will air on ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC television affiliates and will stream on multiple online platforms.

“To the Class of 2020, know that you are a special class. Not because of the pandemic that has changed the world, but in spite of it,” Lane said in his recorded remarks. “You are digital natives, truth-seekers and influencers. You are inclusive and passionate. You are part of a generation that speaks up in an effort to solve conflicts and improve the world — together.”

Lane’s video message to 2020 graduates is available on the Graduate Together VA page of the Virginia Department of Education website. The Graduate Together VA page also presents videos submitted by school divisions highlighting personal stories of Virginia graduates and the efforts of schools and divisions to honor them in spite of current social distancing restrictions.

“During the last two months, Governor Ralph Northam, the Board of Education, VDOE and the General Assembly collaborated to ensure that our high school seniors would be able to graduate on time,” Lane said. “Now it is time to celebrate the Class of 2020, and I encourage all Virginians to view and share the stories of these remarkable students and the schools that have prepared them for the challenges ahead.”

Lane’s message — and videos submitted by Fluvanna County, Hanover County and Louisa County — also will be featured on the “Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020” website on a page devoted to Virginia students and schools. Organizers of the event asked each state to provide a message to graduates from its state superintendent and up to three videos celebrating the resiliency of students in the face of COVID-19.

“Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020” — a first-of-its-kind national virtual graduation celebration — is sponsored by The Entertainment Industry Foundation, The LeBron James Family Foundation and the XQ Institute. The live program will feature artists, athletes, musicians and other celebrities and messages featuring students, teachers and their families from across the country.

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