Sharon Stone mug

The end of a school year is an emotional and oftentimes stressful time for the students, parents and teachers. It’s an important milestone to let everyone know of the accomplishments of the youngest members of our society. The last day of school is a day of celebration for students as they begin their summer vacations to enjoy the lazy days of summer.

 Graduating seniors typically have so many exciting events to experience. Athletes on high school sports teams make their way through playoffs and championship games, musicians in the band perform their final concerts. Most students worry about scholarships, exit projects, speeches to make in front of parents, prom, Project Graduation, backyard graduation parties and more.

 I recall those last days of grade school and relishing the fact that I could sleep in and just play with neighbor kids, swim in our backyard pool and ride our bikes around the block. As I got older and taught the woodwind section during summer band I picked up more responsibility and can still remember those hot, muggy classrooms at the high school because there was no AC.

 This year’s graduating class was dealt a heavy blow this year because of the coronavirus. Their “senioritis” didn’t even get a chance to set in when the schools closed down. Instead of a natural sense of finishing one chapter of their life and looking forward to college or trade school, or working to save money for something they’ve been wanting to buy or taking a year off to explore Europe, they found themselves completing classroom work at home, surrounded by just their family.

 I bet most of them would want a do-over for 2020 so that they could appreciate the same experiences of their parents and older brothers and sisters.

 The Times has been running weekly pages featuring photos of our area graduates. These pages, sponsored by The State Bank, have been an overwhelming success based on the number of parents who submitted their graduate’s photo. I have enjoyed looking at all those smiling faces each week knowing that these seniors are tough. If they can make it through a global pandemic, I’m sure they can navigate the unknown adventures ahead of them.

 This weekend, the Times will be publishing our annual Graduation Section, listing all of this year’s graduates. Be sure to check out those pages. Congratulations to this year’s graduating class!

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