The Class of 2020 Will Be Honored Forever at This High School

We can all agree that the Class of 2020 got the short end of the stick. But, what can we parents do to help reimagine some of the milestone events they are missing?

High schools all over the country are trying to find a way to make this year’s class feel special and celebrated, from virtual proms to drive-in movie graduations, parents are being so creative.

South Salem High School (SSHS) parents have come up with a brilliant idea. Kim Pike, the mom of a SSHS senior acknowledged that sadly this year’s seniors will not get to walk across the stage. But, she thought, “that moment when they toss their mortarboards into the sky? Let’s find a way to make that happen…” So she got to work making it happen.

This is a mock up of the real thing that hopefully will be 8 feet by 25 feet.

She floated a plan to the school and other parents to help recapture the “throwing your cap” moment. Ms. Pike and Jeanine Renne, a fellow parent and lead artist on the project brainstormed the mural design together. They decided that each of the just over 400 members of the Saxon Class of 2020 would be provided with a tile shaped like a graduation cap. The students will then paint their tile with the same decoration they were intending to use on the mortarboard they would have worn to graduation.

After the tiles are assembled into a mosaic depicting a hat toss, it will be installed on the side of their school building, the perfect way to honor the Class of 2020 and to make sure that this class’s place in history would be forever memorialized. A local business volunteered to fire the tiles and parents will hire a tile setter to install the mosaic. A GoFundMe campaign helped defray the costs of the project and a Facebook page was created.

A school press release gave some more detail on the mural’s design,

Amidst this scene of flying mortarboards against sky will be a Saxon Crown emblazoned with MMXX, the roman numerals for 2020. The tile mortarboards will individually honor each senior, preserving that moment that connects them with traditional commencements. The South Saxon Victory Crown will represent the coronavirus reclaimed, a symbol of the community’s triumph over the virus. 

The logistics are being finalized but social distancing rules will be followed.

A local paper covered the story and spoke to the school principal, Lara Tiffin, who said that the school fully supported the project. She added,

What a fun way to create a visible and lasting recognition of this class of seniors who have missed out on the spring of their senior year.”

More to Read:

Great Graduation Gift List for 2020 Grads

Graduation: Names Will Be Called, Diplomas Awarded, and Social Distance Observed, Another Brilliant Idea

How to Celebrate Your Young Adult’s 21st Birthday While They are Socially Distancing from Friends

About Helene Wingens

Helene Wingens has always been passionate about painting pictures with words. She graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in psychology and three years later from Boston University School of Law with a Juris Doctor. In a year long clerkship for an appellate judge Helene honed her writing skills by drafting weekly appellate memoranda. She practiced law until she practically perfected it and after taking a brief twenty year hiatus to raise her three children she began writing a personal blog Her essays have been published in: Scary Mommy, Kveller, The Forward, and Grown and Flown where she is Managing Editor. You can visit Helene's website here

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