⁠TRONA (CBSLA) — This past school year has been anything but normal for Trona High School senior Bryce Johnson and his mom Bridgette.

⁠”Definitely been emotional for me as a parent,” Bridgette said.

Like many high school seniors, Bryce did not get to go to prom, and he didn’t get to finish his final baseball season or relish in all of the fun leading up to graduation ⁠— the coronavirus pandemic put an end to all of it.

But, unlike many seniors, Bryce and his classmates did not even get the opportunity to start their final year of high school under normal circumstances ⁠— a pair of devastating earthquakes, the largest to hit California in 20 years, made sure of that.

The first of the quakes struck July 4, a 6.4M temblor with an epicenter in Trona. The second, just one day later, a devastating 7.1M quake.

“Our water company had to relocate,” Bridgette said. “Our local museum was shut down because of the foundation.”

Trona High School, home of the Tornadoes, also had to close after suffering extensive damage to its gas and water lines.

“The high school was deemed unsafe because of the earthquakes,” Joseph Wolf, Trona principal, said. “And all the students at the high school had to merge into the elementary facilities.”

But despite the constant changes, Wolf said his students continued to meet the challenge, which is why he and the parents are still hoping to hold a traditional graduation ceremony for the graduating class of 18 after such a trying year.

“You know, they can experience that feeling of walking, hearing their name and getting their diploma,” Wolf said.

The graduation has been tentatively scheduled for July 31, in hopes that they will be allowed to hold an in-person ceremony by then.

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