Maris English joined ACT Advisors part-time in March of 2020 when Asheville High School moved to online classes. During her short time here, she has done everything from coordinating the advisors’ appointments to sending out our weekly market commentary emails.

Before graduation, Asheville was included on a list of the top 15 metro areas where a COVID-19 outbreak could occur next. With our case numbers on the rise, the school district decided to hold a motorcade ceremony. We asked Maris to share her unique experience of graduating during this pandemic.

Maris Shares Her Motorcade Graduation Experience



In the motorcade, I rode with my family. They decorated the car with writing that said, “Congratulations Maris, we’re so proud.” We went to the school around 10 am because that was the window for students with last names D-G to drive through. Luckily, some of my friends were in that group as well, so I got to wave to them from the car. We were only allowed to have one car, so the rest of my family was watching the event live-stream on Facebook.


I sat in the passenger seat in my cap and gown, while we drove down a designated route. During the drive, we made stops at the different stations that they had set up. The first station had a few teachers explaining what to do, the next station I told them my name and how to pronounce it and they gave me a coupon for free ice cream, and the last station was where I got my diploma. Our valedictorians and salutatorians had pre-recorded speeches that we listened to on a local radio station.

When we pulled up to the school, I got out of the car and waited for my name to be read. My family stayed inside the car and pulled forward to watch me. As they said my name, I walked up the front steps of the school for a photo. After that, I went back down and waved to the administration as I was handed my diploma. After I picked up my diploma, my family and I drove down to the end of the road to take a few more pictures before we left.

Although my graduation was much different than what I had always imagined it to be, I’m still grateful for the effort that the school put into the whole thing. I know it must’ve been stressful to try and accommodate for everything that the class of 2020 wanted for our graduation. I’m glad that we at least had the opportunity to graduate in person rather than virtually like some other schools. It was definitely an event for the books and something that I’ll remember forever.

Maris will continue to work with us for the summer before she heads off to Colorado State University in the fall.

A big congratulations to Maris from everyone at ACT Advisors!

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