A principal went the extra mile—or 1,500 miles (2,414.016 kilometers), to be exact—by traveling the distance for 10 days to personally deliver the diplomas of 240 seniors amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Scott Rudes, the principal of Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Texas, USA, spent most of last week driving by the graduating students’ homes, as per Fox-owned KDFW yesterday, May 28.
He spent 65 hours delivering the diplomas using his personal car and said that the effort was worth it.
Much like the rest of the world, the art school had to resort to virtual graduation rites last Wednesday, May 27, to prevent the virus’ spread.
According to the report, these visits had transformed into performances. The principal’s appearance apparently got the students’ creative juices going. Rudes participated in all sorts of antics the students came up with, including trampoline, balloons, water slides and TikTok videos.
“One of our core values at our school is to ignite joy,” Rudes was quoted as saying. “And that is what I saw on the faces of my seniors and their families. Just a few minutes of joy in the midst of all this uncertainty.”
The school also showed “The Rudes Diploma Tour” in its YouTube channel on May 27.
Rudes, a father of a graduating student, explained what pushed him to do the drive-by.
“I feel the anguish and the sadness over missing out on a lot of activities at the end of the year,” he said in the report. “So this was my opportunity to connect with each and every one of them.”
The principal also pointed out the strength artists have during this challenging time.
“Whatever presents in life, find the opportunity with that and run with it,” Rudes said. “That’s one of the things I think we do best at a school like ours with artists, to teach them to view the world from multiple perspectives and to be creative and expressive. I think that’s what gets them through the hard times.” /ra