Traditional commencement is still the goal, but TUHS hires production company for online ceremony if neccessary

The Taft Union High School District, while still hoping to told a traditional graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020, is also planning for a virtual graduation.

Monday night, the Board of Trustees voted to hire a Los Angeles production company to produce a virtually ceremony that Superintendent Blanca Cavazos said would be the best recreation of a live in-person graduation.

"Our number one preference is we have a traditional graduation," Cavazos said. “I hope we an get there but right now I'm not very confident."

However, she said, if that's not possible, the virtual ceremony offer by Vego Pictures is the best alternative to actually having the graduates walking across the stage at Martin Memorial Stadium.

A virtual ceremony would include the traditions -- including the band and choir, speeches by the class valedictorian and salutatorian, plus administrators.

As is traditional, Principal Mary Alice Finn and Director of Special Services Chelle Koerner will read the names of the graduates and a photo of each graduate will show up as the name is called, Cavazos said.

"The would go through the same procedure we do in a normal graduation," she said. "It would allow us to live up to the Taft High tradition."

Still, she said, the best alternative is holding a traditional graduation on June 3. The virtual alternative is one option, as is a full ceremony at some later date, or both a virtual graduation followed by a delayed in-person ceremony.

"We're trying to hedge our bets," she said.

Vego was selected from several firms. Cavazos said they have producers and directors that normally do reality shows that are now on hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Taft Union would own the rights to the production and DVDs.