Marking the occasion: Dickson High School to mark planned graduation ceremony with 2,020 seconds of lights

Michael Smith
Yard signs representing members of Dickson High School’s class of 2020 Thursday. Signs for all 78 members of the class will be illuminated for 2,020 seconds, nearly 34 minutes, beginning at 8:30 tonight

For 33 minutes and 40 seconds tonight, Dickson High School will illuminate lights on the football field and nearly 80 yard signs during what should have been the Comets graduation ceremony. While a seemingly arbitrary length of time, breaking that down into seconds makes more sense.

2,020 seconds for the Dickson High School graduation class of 2020.

Principal Matt Krimmer said the plan to mark the graduation ceremony came about after seeing ideas from other schools and listening to Dickson parents. He saw other schools use stadium lights to mark the abrupt end of high school athletics in March and was also listening to parents asking about yard signs featuring their seniors.

“We kind of just put the two ideas together,” he said Thursday while measuring the football field.

Dickson seniors will not completely forego a graduation ceremony. The event has been pushed back three weeks and moved to the outdoor field where social distancing can be practiced. The tentative date is Saturday, June 6, according to school officials.

The Friday event is largely ceremonial and the stadium will remain locked. Krimmer said the lights will be turned on at 8:30 p.m. and will be turned off 2,020 seconds later, or shortly before 9:04 p.m.

The yard signs will then be collected and stored until the June ceremony, when they will be given to the student along with their graduation packet.