COOLIDGE — Last year, Coolidge High School graduates had to make due with a virtual graduation ceremony thanks to the pandemic.

Now, however, those who can are getting a chance for an in-person do-over. Graduates from the Class of 2020 will have a chance to walk at 8 p.m. on Thursday at Larry Delbridge Stadium.

The opportunity comes as the silver lining for an unfortunate situation that occurred this week, with several positive COVID-19 cases out of the junior high school temporarily derailing its promotion ceremony.

But because that was postponed until next Thursday, that created an opportunity for last year’s seniors to have an event as well.

“Some students reached out to us about a week and a half ago, but there just wasn’t a window for it to happen,” said Coolidge High School Principal Ben Armstrong. “But there was a need to move eighth grade promotion, and I think it’s great if this is what they want to do.”

Armstrong credits Class of 2020 student Kauri Heet with leading the charge. Heet was the student body president during the 2019-20 year.

At least 50 now-former students are expected to be part of the event. In what Armstrong described as a “crazy Thursday,” a practice walk will take place at 6:30, followed by the eighth grade promotion, and then the belated graduation.

Participants will have to provide their own cap and gown as well as diploma covers. Eight tickets per participant will be allotted, and the event will also be livestreamed.

For more information on how to attend, interested students from the Class of 2020 can contact Kauri Heet or they can reach out to the school at 520-723-2302.


Aaron Dorman is the Casa Grande reporter at PinalCentral, covering government, schools, business and more. He can be reached at

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