Class of 2020: A Special Farewell to Seniors

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Richard Beaugh

Philip Gordon smiles as he waits in line to drop off his laptop.

The Class of 2020 drove to the parking lot on Claycut on May 1st, their last day of class, for their scheduled laptop drop-off but were surprised by having faculty, staff, and administration surprise them with a celebratory send-off.

The laptop drop-off line snaked through the Claycut parking lot and into the Hearthstone circle drive. The teachers stood in the Claycut parking lot holding up signs, cheering the seniors on, and congratulating them on completing their CHS career. Because COVID-19 canceled most of the seniors’ spring events, the teachers hoped to help end their year on a high note.

Graduation, Prom, and Senior Breakfast and the boiled crawfish lunch on the seniors’ last day are just a few of the events that were canceled.  While these changes were necessary due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s still understandably disappointing for seniors across the country. Because of this, schools have found creative alternate ways to honor their seniors.

For example, seniors at East Central High School in San Antonio will celebrate via drive-thru graduation; a way to still have graduation but practice social distancing. Graduates will drive up to a staging area in a parade of cars and will be handed their diploma, all while listening to the names being called out on the local FM radio station. Similarly, Clover High School in South Carolina will host their graduation at a drive-in movie theater. Parents will watch the graduates walk across the stage from their cars.

To honor the graduates of the Class of 2020, Catholic High will be streaming a virtual graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 16th at 4:00 pm. The ceremony can be watched on Cox Channel 19/1019, Eatel Channel 144, on Facebook Live stream, and at BBN.live.

CHS was fortunate to also be able to hold a little celebration in-person with the laptop drop-off. The laptop drop-off went smoothly, and all the seniors were surprised. Senior Ebenezer Aggrey explained, “I was very surprised. I just thought it was going to be a drop-off. I was like what is going on, this is crazy but also this is awesome at the same time. I loved the surprise, it was something we seniors really needed on our last day.” 

Claudia Rumfola

Senior Henry Walsh also said, “I thought it was a very nice gesture. I wasn’t expecting for everyone to be there, but it was nice being able to see some of my teachers for the first time in a while.”

The teachers enjoyed the drop-off too. Many of them were worried that March was the last time they would get to see their students, but they were overjoyed to be able to see them at the drop-off. Mrs. Margo Otterstetter said, “I think it went well considering the circumstances.  If I could have changed anything, I would have wanted to actually hug them – not give high elbows through the window of a car. But at least we were able to do something for them to let them know how much they are loved and will be missed.” 

Richard Beaugh

Mrs. Judy Chapoy said this about the drop-off, “​It was awesome to see everyone (seniors and faculty) since I haven’t seen anyone since March. Faculty members lined the senior parking lot with signs and cheered them on and they drove through. We had posters and I brought air horns. The bear mascot had a facemask on–too cute! It was great fun.”

The drop-off seemed to go smoothly from both the seniors’ and the faculty’s perspective. The seniors had a bit of closure to the school year other than just submitting a paper online, and the teachers got to see the students that they had watched grow up for the last four or five years one final time. Mrs. Chapoy even thinks it should be made a tradition. It could be a great way to remember the seniors from this year and to appreciate some of the final moments of senior year that are taken for granted, such as a laptop drop-off.

Claudia Rumfola