Seniors partake in on-campus caravan for upcoming Senior Recognition Ceremony, Founders Day

Senior+Stella+Chuck+drives+through+the+campus+caravan+holding+her+senior+flowers.+The+caravan+took+place+on+Oct.+14%2C+2020.

Photo credit: Archer Communications

Senior Stella Chuck drives through the campus caravan holding her senior flowers. The caravan took place on Oct. 14, 2020.

By London Sinclair, Podcast Editor

The senior class participated in an on-campus caravan Oct. 14 as preparation for the Senior Recognition Ceremony and Founders Day, which will be held virtually on Nov. 11. The seniors were greeted by teachers and staff wearing festive costumes, holding up handmade signs and playing music as seniors drove through the driveways of the school.

As students, some accompanied by family members, drove through campus, they were met with several stations offering mementos and a chance to connect with faculty members. At the first station, the seniors received a mug and beanie inscribed with the words “Class of 2021,” the second station had donuts and the third was poster-signing. The seniors were also able to get out of their cars to take socially-distanced photos by a professional photographer. 

“The last couple of months right before quarantine, I was able to drive myself onto campus for choir rehearsals and musical and play rehearsals,” senior Claire Helscher said. “Now getting to be back [to campus] again, I felt a lot older, which was so weird, to be there as a senior — just how familiar it all feels but also incredibly distant.”

Seniors were given specific instructions for after the caravan, including filming a video answering one of the prompts that Archer suggested. 

“We are supposed to send in videos, but I think that it is really hard to feel a sense of community when you’re filming those things, and it’s just you,” Helscher explained. “It’s sad because I think those are the formative bonding moments for grades — you’re all cheering for each other and then high fiving your friends, getting your roses, to think that those moments won’t happen or happen virtually just kind of sucks.” 

While senior Nicole Farmer echoed a similar sentiment of feeling “distance,” she also expressed an optimistic attitude toward the upcoming events. 

“This virtual setup really came into play when we saw last year’s class of 2020 hold a virtual graduation, so I think that this has become the new normal,” Farmer noted. “While it is not ideal, at least we have the chance to celebrate and we still get to come together as a community, even if it is remote.”

Farmer continued this positive outlook, stating that she is striving to approach the circumstances from a “grateful” place.

“I find that being positive about it is just more beneficial,” Farmer said. “The circumstances are out of our hands, it’s our senior year and I don’t want to spend it picking out all the negative things, so I am just trying to focus on the positives.” 

James Russo who is the senior class dean and planned the caravan with other faculty had the goal of wanting the seniors to know that “they are in [the faculty’s] hearts and minds” regardless of the”extraordinary circumstances.”

“To echo [Elizabeth] English’s words from Back To School Night, this ordeal has truly revealed the importance of face-to-face contact when it comes to student/teacher relationships,” Russo said. “Even though everybody was ‘masked up,’ it was still lovely to have a few seconds of interaction with these amazing 2021-derWomen!”