GEORGETOWN, Ohio  — Liz Meranda has been waiting four years to walk across the stage at Georgetown High School to get her high school diploma. But when she found out the coronavirus would force schools to close and leave graduation in question, she saw her final day before the three-week break as a chance to have what she calls her “last hoorah.” After all, once she came back from break, she'd be graduating soon.

  • She decided to throw an impromptu graduation as a joke
  • Students put on the caps and gowns they received that morning and walked across the cafeteria stage at lunch time 
  • The principal plans to hold a graduation for students, even if it’s in the summer

The 17-year-old pulled out her cap and gown and tried it on, hoping it wouldn’t be her last time doing so. 

"It feels weird putting it on. It's like will I put it on in May? I don't know," she said.

But in keeping with the spirit of being a senior, the soon-to-be graduate wanted to pull off an impromptu senior prank on the last day of class, since many thought graduation would be canceled.

Her idea was perfect timing, as the seniors received  their caps and gowns that morning.

"We should just have like a fake graduation as a joke," Meranda said.

With only one third of the seniors at school that day, she got as many together as she could.  

"As soon as we were putting 'em on, I was kind of jokin' around like, man this is cool, but I can't wait to have actual graduation," said Meranda.

And they took that famous walk across the cafeteria stage as they heard their names.

They only received a blank piece of paper — but it didn't matter.

"Everyone there was laughing and having a good time and like, that's what I imagined graduation to be," Meranda said.

Meranda says she misses being in class and with friends, but realizes she may not get that time back.

"I was very appreciative at the fact that we did that and now looking back like after even two weeks, I'm like, I'm really, really glad we did that," she said.

​And she’s glad she took the chance to make what may have been her final official memory of her senior year.

Meranda says while she's not thrilled about the possibility of finishing her senior year online, she'll make the most of it if she has to.

Georgetown High School's principal says they are set on having a graduation for students even if it means they have to have one in the summer, in small groups or virtually.