Graduating During the Pandemic

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Article Author: Byrne, Poli, Fritz, DeLuca, Marcus
Publication Name: Greenfield Recorder
Article Date: 5/24/2020
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When schools first closed in mid-March, seniors across the county weren’t sure when or if they would be returning to classes to finish up their final semester, making for a unique senior year.

“Nothing like this has happened in a long, long time,” said Andrew Logan, 18, a senior at Frontier Regional School in South Deerfield, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in the closure of public and private schools across the state. “Nobody knew what to expect.”

The state’s decision to close schools for the remainder of the year came on April 21. Paired with a state-ordered restriction on gathering size, this meant Logan and his peers wouldn’t be celebrating senior year in the same way past graduating classes celebrated their final year in the district.

Across the county, schools have found alternative ways to celebrate their seniors, from virtual commencements to delayed graduation ceremonies at locations that allow students and guests to practice social distancing. Despite the challenges, Logan says he has chosen to remain positive.

“I’m bummed out that a lot of things I was excited about for senior year were canceled, but there’s opportunity everywhere and we can’t really change anything right now,” he said. “We just have to look forward to all the opportunities that might come for this.”

Colin Hosley, the senior class advisor at Frontier Regional School, said he thinks seniors have gone through a rollercoaster ride of emotions.

“At first, when they were out of school, they were still expecting to go back,” Hosley said. “When the (school closure) news hit, that’s when the snowball of emotions began.”

Hosley said he hopes seniors remain positive.

“This is an unusual time,” he said. “But time has a habit of passing by, which does eventually help to heal wounds, so they will get through this.”

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