‘Car Parade’ Celebrates High School Grads In Corvallis

Jun 4, 2020

With traditional graduation ceremonies postponed or canceled due to the coronavirus this year, some Oregon school districts are honoring their graduates in other ways.

A College Hill High School graduate waves to onlookers along the parade route.
Credit Chris Lehman / KLCC

That includes Corvallis, where about 40 cars decorated with balloons and streamers wound their way through a leafy neighborhood Thursday night. Local residents and family members waved and cheered for the students as they headed to College Hill High School to pick up their diplomas.

"I think this is very special what they did," said Bren Torres, who came out to cheer on her grandson, Tommy.  "(They) created a safe celebration for them."

College Hill is an alternative school for students who’ve faced added challenges. “These kids are really special," said Payton James-Amberg, a substitute teacher who came out to the parade to support her students. "A lot of them have lived through some really tough things, and that they keep coming to school and that they finish their degrees is amazing.”

Payton James-Amberg waves to her students as they pass by along the parade route near College Hill High School.
Credit Chris Lehman / KLCC

Graduates of the Corvallis School District’s two other high schools will be honored with parades on Saturday.

In-person activities at Oregon schools have been prohibited since mid-March, due to an executive order from Gov. Kate Brown. It's part of the effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.