Pine Tree High School seniors met with encouraging messages at cap, gown pickup

Pine Tree High School seniors met with encouraging messages at cap, gown pickup
Pine Tree ISD teachers hold up signs to share encouraging messages with students picking up their graduation caps and gowns Wednesday, March 25, 2020. (Source: Arthur Clayborn/KLTV Photojournalist)

LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Campuses across East Texas remain closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but school is still going at home.

Whether it’s through distance learning programs online or by packets they pick up, students are still learning.

And for seniors, that means they still have to plan for graduation. High school seniors at Pine Tree ISD took a big step in that direction Wednesday when they picked up their caps and gowns.

Pine Tree High School Principal Cindy Gabehart was among the PTISD employees who met those students in the parking lot. She and others held up signs with encouraging messages to let the students know they were loved and supported.

“We know this is a hard time for them, but we also know it’s a special time, and they’re a special group of kids. So, we’re happy that they get to, one at a time, pick up their caps and gowns," Gabehart said.

Carson Oxsheer, a senior at Pine Tree High School, described the moment as bittersweet.

“It’s a little weird, but I’m glad we’re still able to come get them,” Carson said. “I hope that we can kind of get through this and move on, but there’s still that chance in the back of my mind that’s really worried about it.”

He said he keeps in touch with classmates, and they share the same concerns when thinking about graduation and picking up their cap and gown.

“Mostly, it’s everyone worried that they won’t ever get to wear them,” Carson said.

For mom Marcia Oxsheer it was the experience of picking up a cap and gown for the last kid she’ll have graduate from high school that made the day.

“He’s my baby," she said. "I made sure that him and I were going to get to come together because he could’ve just come and got it himself, but I feel like I may miss out on a few other things so, we made this an experience to be able to come together and get his cap and gown.”

Pine Tree High School’s graduation has not been canceled, and teachers and students are hopeful it will go on as scheduled.

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