Some of Nixa’s leaders wanted to recognize the graduating class of 2020. A banner now hangs over Main Street in their honor.
Nixa High School traditionally holds graduation on Mother’s Day each year. It didn’t happen on May 10, because of the public health concerns of the COVID-19 pandemic. On May 11, the banner declaring “Congratulations Seniors! #NixaStrong” stretched over the street in Nixa’s historic heart.
Longtime Nixa resident Paul Johns hatched the idea, and got help from the city of Nixa, the Nixa Chamber of Commerce, the Nixa Downtown Revitalization Committee, Nixa Public Schools and Nixa Utilities to make it happen. Kent Parnell, owner of 24-Hour Signs, made the banner at cost.
Mayor Brian Steele, himself a parent of a 2020 graduate, paid for the banner with his personal money.
“Paul Johns came up with the idea for it, and I thought it was a great idea,” Steele said. “It’s just a small idea to support those seniors who didn’t get to have their graduation at this point. Hopefully, they’ll be able to have an in-person graduation later this year.”
Nixa Public Schools is considering a few alternate graduation dates and times for students to receive their diplomas. The school district will announce its plans for a graduation ceremony in the near future.