Staff at Hayes High School will bid the class of 2020 farewell Saturday during a drive-thru graduation ceremony. According to several staff members, the current group of seniors is one that won’t soon be forgotten.
The class of 2020 has not been at Hayes since March 13, and numerous activities, including sports, the spring musical, prom, senior picnics, and graduation parties were all canceled.
History teacher David Morgan said Thursday the seniors faced the challenges of their final year head on.
“The class of 2020 will go down in history as one of the most resilient classes in Delaware history,” Morgan said. “I don’t think any of us can even imagine what it would be like for the last 2 1/2 months of your senior year, a time which should be filled with great memories of classmates and school functions, where none of that got to take place for this class. As a teacher, I believe we will all have a strong bond with the class of 2020 having been through this difficult time with them.”
French teacher Kimberly Young praised the class, adding it will be remembered as one that made an effort to include everyone.
“The student leaders in the class of 2020 are outstanding,” Young said. “I am also so grateful for how so many students have included students with special needs in their sports and extracurricular activities, as well as their daily lives.”
Katrina Wetherby, the family & consumer science teacher at Hayes, encouraged graduates to “enjoy the here and now.”
English teacher Aaron Sherman said the seniors’ last few months have given them unique experiences that will help them in the future.
“Pacer seniors survived and thrived despite the immense challenges of this year,” Sherman said. “Universities and businesses looking for stellar candidates need look no farther than the class of 2020.”
Science teacher Caitlin Duffy, said the class of 2020 is one she’ll never forget.
“This class of seniors holds a special place in my heart,” Duffy said. “They are my very first class of seniors who have progressed through their time at Hayes as I have since being hired. They are a unique, fun, and overwhelmingly resilient group of students. I have no doubt they will do incredible things with their futures. I felt privileged to have taught so many of them. They taught me more than they know.”
Hayes Principal Ric Stranges, who organized Saturday’s drive-thru graduation ceremony after consulting with local health and safety officials, said students will be handed their diplomas through their car window. He added he wanted to “do something special” for the class instead of just doing a virtual graduation.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.