By EMMA NORMAN – On April 9th, 2020 Governor Wolf announced that all schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. For the class of 2020, this news was devastating. Seniors were not sure whether or not they would be getting the graduation ceremony they worked so hard for. For IHS teacher Mrs. Sexton, the idea of not having a graduation was heartbreaking. She has been determined to give the class of 2020 a special senior year.
Mrs. Sexton remarked, “From the moment our school doors were closed, we have been working on ways to honor our seniors. Mr. Puskar, with the help of the Athletic Department, Dr. Laird, and Mrs. McAnulty, have been featuring students through the ‘Senior Spotlight’ on our IASD social media.”
Seniors are beyond grateful for everything Mrs. Sexton has done for the senior class. Senior Cleo McMahan stated, “Mrs. Sexton has gone above and beyond trying to make this year as ‘normal’ as possible for us seniors. She has been able to keep all of us updated on important events. I think we’re all grateful for what she and the rest of the IHS staff have done for us.”
On top of teaching her classes online, Mrs. Sexton has been working diligently to ensure that the seniors get a special celebration on June 5th. She commented, “I decided early on that I did not want June 5th to come and go without a well-deserved special celebration. Not knowing when social-distancing rules would soften, we wanted to ensure that each senior gets their moment to shine on their final day of school. We will be airing our ceremony over the IUP Broadcasting network as well as live stream. As far as I know, no other graduating IHS classes can say that they were each individually featured on TV!”
Putting together a virtual ceremony for the seniors has been a lot of work and without the help of many IHS teachers, it would not be possible. Mrs. Sexton has been putting in lots of time and commitment in order to make this virtual ceremony happen.
She remarked, “To pull off the virtual ceremony, it has taken a lot of planning and efforts from many individuals, but we haven’t stopped there. We are considering various activities that could be included with a physical ceremony when state regulations allow us to proceed.”
When asked if she had a message she would like to give the class of 2020 she responded, “I would like to refer to your class song and class motto. Your class song, “Good Riddance (Time of your Life)” by Green Day repeats the following chorus: ‘It’s something unpredictable, but in the end, it’s right, I hope you had the time of your life.’ There is so much unpredictability at this time. Seniors are saying over and over, ‘I never imagined that my senior year would end like this.” It’s okay to mourn the many losses your class has faced. In fact, I, like countless others, have mourned those losses with you. But you are the Class of 2020, “a class with a vision.” You will not let these circumstances define you. You will envision a way to overcome the many obstacles in your life and one day look back at these years with pride and be able to say, ‘I had the time of my life.'”
The class of 2020, along with the rest of IHS, would like to thank Mrs. Sexton and all the other faculty members for being there for the seniors during this time.
[Photo by The High Arrow]
Photo Caption: “Mrs. Sexton spearheaded the effort to provide IHS seniors with the yard signs seen throughout Indiana and surrounding areas celebrating the Class of 2020.”
Emma is a senior and this is her third year with The High Arrow. She enjoys providing the school with trustworthy news and plans to enjoy her senior year on the staff.