As a result of mass-gathering restrictions and social-distancing guidelines, hundreds of high-school seniors in Rio Rancho will miss out on one of life’s most memorable milestones: a commencement ceremony. 

Because no traditional graduation ceremonies will take place this month, Mayor Gregg Hull, Deputy Mayor Bob Tyler, local businesses and Rio Rancho Public Schools have joined together to recognize the City of Vision’s Class of 2020 with a “Field of Grads” tribute. This will be the inaugural display, kicking off Rio Rancho’s Class of 2020 Day on May 27.

More information about this special celebration day and a proclamation will come at a future date.

“It is unfortunate for graduating high-school seniors and their families that no traditional ceremonies will take place this year,” Hull said. “However, I couldn’t be happier or more proud of our community for banding together to provide a special memory to recognize and congratulate the accomplishments of the Class of 2020.”

Rio Rancho Public Schools Chief Communications, Strategy and  Engagement Officer Beth Pendergrass said, “We appreciate Rio Rancho Mayor Gregg Hull, Rio Rancho Deputy Mayor Bob Tyler and the local businesses who are making this unique tribute possible. We are continuing to meet with parents and students as we plan for the Class of 2020 Day celebration and other possible ways to celebrate graduating high-school seniors in a non-traditional, but historic and special way.”

Parents with home-school students wishing to have their graduating senior included in this special recognition need to contact Hull at no later than May 8.

On May 25 and 26, signs depicting Rio Rancho graduates will be displayed on the field of the Rio Rancho Sports Complex, 3501 High Resort Blvd. Seniors and/or their families will be allowed to remove their signs May 27 and keep them as a permanent memento.

Due to social distancing guidelines, citizens wanting to view the signs will not be able to gather on the field.