Senior send-off held at Kentucky Horse Park for Fayette County grads

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Fayette County Public Schools held a senior send-off Thursday at the Kentucky Horse Park. It’s part of a series of events for the graduating seniors who’ve had to sacrifice so much due to the pandemic.

“My heart is full of joy right now,” said Francine Kapanya, a graduate of Frederick Douglass High School. “I feel like crying.”

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It’s a sentiment many students and staff in the district share, especially since the year came to an abrupt end.

“We didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to everyone – friends and stuff,” said Jenvy Maele, another graduate of Frederick Douglass High School.

To try to make up for lost time, graduates and families drove by as teachers and staff cheered from the sidelines at a senior send-off at the horse park.

“They didn’t want us to just forget about it,” said Kapanya. “They said ‘nah we still got to celebrate you all.’ It made us feel good. I really appreciate that.”

Frederick Douglass High School Principal, Lester Diaz, says he knows it’s not the grand ceremony everyone expects each year, but the message is the same.

“I get chills and emotional just to think about the success stories over the years,” Diaz said.

Superintendent Manny Caulk says the send-off is the least the district can do for the people he calls the leaders of tomorrow.

“It’s a way to recognize our seniors – to tell them we’re proud of them and that we prepared them for the future and the future is theirs for the taking,” Caulk said.

Those future trailblazers are optimistic.

“We just gotta support each other and be proud of what you got out of this,” Kapanya said. “We got a diploma, period.”

Fayette County plans to hold a drive through graduation next week.