DERRY — It was a rolling celebration to honor years of hard work.

Pinkerton Academy and its hundreds of seniors making up the class of 2020 celebrated the end of high school with a celebration parade Monday afternoon.

Monday would have been the actual commencement date for the class if COVID-19 hadn't taken hold.

More than 100 vehicles lined up near the Derry high school campus, decorated and ready to wind around the buildings, with teachers and staff ready to wave and cheer as seniors drove by.

Many wore their caps and gowns. Some vehicles posted signs of thanks to teachers. Some had personal messages of what lies ahead.

Katie Peterson, a member of the Class of 2020, posted one message on the side of a vehicle as she drove through the campus.

"I used to be afraid of hurdles," Peterson's sign read. "But then I got over it."

Pinkerton Academy Headmaster Timothy Powers said all efforts were made this year to make the class of 2020 feel special amid some very unique circumstances.

"We talked to our seniors," Powers said, "and (wanted to know) what's important to them."

Powers said the Academy knew this year would be different.

In addition to the recent senior parade on campus, Pinkerton will host a virtual graduation event on Sunday, June 14, at 7 p.m., live streamed on Facebook and combining elements of a traditional baccalaureate service and graduation speeches.

Then next week, over the course of three days, Pinkerton will host ceremonies to hand out diplomas. Students will come to the campus in caps and gowns and walk across a stage to get their diploma while families stay safe and watch from cars.

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