KDE to stream ‘Kentucky’s Tribute to Class of 2020’ on May 23

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Source: Kentucky Department of Education

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Kentucky Department of Education will honor its high school seniors with an online one-hour program on Saturday, May 23.

“Kentucky’s Tribute to the Class of 2020,” is presented by KDE and the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet and will be hosted by Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman.

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With traditional high school graduations across the country canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the goal of this tribute is to give the Commonwealth’s seniors a special, inspiring send-off they can enjoy with family, friends and others across the nation.

“No one could have predicted the situation that has grasped our state and country,” Coleman said. “COVID-19 has impacted our Class of 2020 in a profound way. Milestone events they have looked forward to for years were suddenly taken away. They missed out on sporting events, proms, academic award ceremonies and a traditional graduation ceremony. This event cannot replace those things, but we do hope to convey the pride we have in each and every one of our graduates.”

More than 1,500 photographs of our seniors submitted to KDE from superintendents and high school principals across the state will be featured throughout the tribute.

The event will also feature a collection of commencement addresses from Gov. Andy Beshear and several other elected and appointed education leaders across the state, as well as musical performances from Kentucky artists J.D. Shelburne, Linkin Bridge and the Kentucky State Choir.

In addition to the livestreamed event, KDE has created social media frames for Facebook and Twitter highlighting the accomplishments of both our students and their parents.

A two-minute video tribute from Interim Commissioner Kevin C. Brown that includes dozens of photographs of Kentucky’s Class of 2020 has already been shared in advance of the tribute.

The program will be streamed on the department’s YouTube channel HERE at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 23.

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Erica joins the ABC 36 family as a Co-Anchor of Good Morning Kentucky weekday mornings from 5am-7am with Cody Adams and Good Day Kentucky weekday mornings from 9am to 10am. She is also a Web and Social Media Content Producer. Erica graduated in three and a half years from Michigan State University with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism and specialization in Women, Gender and Social Justice. Although she hails from Michigan, Erica has worked as a News Reporter/Sports Anchor for the CBS-affiliate in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Prior to that, she worked for a PBS-affiliate there covering all types of news – even providing live reports for The Weather Channel during her first hurricane. She then moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana and worked as the Weekend Anchor/Reporter at KPLC, the NBC/FOX/CW affiliate. Erica comes to Lexington from the Huntington area where she worked at WSAZ, an NBC/CW affiliate in West Virginia, as a weekday evening anchor covering the tri states of Ohio and Kentucky as well. In addition to her background on TV, Erica has worked in radio, served as the PA announcer for the Class A "Lansing Lugnuts" and hosted Carnival parades in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Some of her favorite hobbies include running, reading, hiking, spending time with her husband and taking pictures of their furbabies. Erica is big on community involvement, having served as a board member for Dress for Success, volunteered as a Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters, worked on the Mayor's Armed Forces Commission in Lake Charles and hosted countless events. She hopes you can connect with her on Facebook: EricaBivensTV and on Twitter: @ericabivens or Instagram: erica.bivens. You can also email her at ebivens@wtvq.com. Please send all event inquiries via email. Erica is excited to explore Lexington and the outdoors and - of course - meet all of you!