Westview senior Mason Whitten received his diploma early Friday, because the Marine recruit is scheduled to leave this month for boot camp at Paris Island, South Carolina.
Weakley County Schools Communications Director Karen Campbell says Westview Principal Jeromy Davidson worked with Mason and his mother Amy McCord, of Martin, and father Lance Whitten, of South Fulton, to ensure Mason would at least get one more day on campus, wearing the cap and gown and switching the tassel from right to left.
He stopped by Westview Friday morning for a brief photo session and to receive congratulations from Davidson and School Board President Steve Vantrease along with School Board Member John Hatler.
Asked why the 18-year-old chose the Marines, Whitten acknowledged he saw the military “as a way out.”
Everybody has something they want to do in their life, something that’s going to take them somewhere and this is my way,” he said. “I also wanted to make my parents proud. I didn’t know what I was going to do, so this is going to be my way to show them I got this.”
Mason moved to Westview during the middle of his sophomore year. He had previously attended Fulton City High School.
Currently, other enlisted seniors will still be in the county for the June 12 weekend of graduation ceremonies.
Weakley County Schools Director Randy Frazier has said that any member of the Class of 2020 who, due to military commitments, cannot attend graduation will be welcomed home and celebrated at a significant event when school resumes.
(photo: front Mason Whitten, father Lance Whitten, mother Amy McCord, Steve Vantrease, and John Hatler.)