By Neal Mehta
On May 26th, teachers and staff from OBHS, decked out in purple and gold apparel and carrying hand-made signs, lined the front lawn of the high school to cheer on the Class of 2020. Despite school closing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the faculty still wanted to celebrate seniors in a unique way. So, they decided to throw them a parade.
Over 60 students paraded down Main Street in their cars, many of whom decorated their vehicles with streamers, posters, and paint. A cloud of OB-colored balloons even trailed one student’s cars. Parents and community members were encouraged to join in the festivities, lining up on the streets alongside staff and maintaining social distancing guidelines.
Principal Sharon Lasher held up her own poster to support the Class of 2020. She shared that she wanted to celebrate seniors in a safe setting. “We wanted to bring everyone together in a safe way. This is not a gathering and no one has to come in contact with anyone else, so it is a safe way to say and wave hello.”
Mr. Kevin Leach, Assistant Principal at OBHS, donned stylish shades and an OB logo as he cheered on the seniors. “This event is an opportunity for OBHS staff to show our love and support for the Class of 2020,” says Leach. “While we are not able to celebrate the success of our students in traditional ways, it is more important than ever before that we let our seniors know how proud we are of all their accomplishments!”
The OBHS administration hopes to continue recognizing seniors, and they are discussing plans for a lawn yearbook signing, a possible future prom date, and another recognition day to be scheduled on the day of the original graduation date.As of right now, the in-person graduation ceremony is scheduled for August 1st, as cases of COVID-19 in NY continue to fall.
Many students are sad that they couldn’t finish out their senior year in the way they had imagined; however, many are grateful for the administration and staff’s recognition and heartfelt congratulations.