Senior year is different for the class of 2020 at Navarre High School.
With schools closed until at least May 1 and communities in quarantine under state mandates, common milestones are being missed. Award ceremonies, prom, signing friends’ yearbooks and even their graduation ceremony may be cancelled due to social distancing concerns.
Kelly Urban’s son Kurt is one of those NHS soon-to-be graduates. He is missing out on many milestones, including participating in the awards and changing of the guard for JROTC. She speculates whether schools will even resume in class instruction this year. The last day of classes is set for May 29.
To keep seniors’ spirits up, Urban and senior parents Jessica and Paul McCarthy are working to put inspirational signs in the yards of NHS seniors as a little pick me up.
“We wanted to find some way to remind our seniors to stay strong and encourage them that they are the same people they were going into this,” she said.
The yard signs say, “Stay Senior Strong, Class of 2020” and have the Raider logo. Urban is offering them free to families of seniors in Navarre within social distancing requirements. She plans to distribute them in several ways, including placing them directly into people’s trunks during graduation announcement pick up at NYSA April 9.
Owner of Ron the Sign Man Daryl Lynchard decided to print 350 signs free for Urban to distribute after she reached out to him with the idea.
“I made them because I think it’s a good thing,” Lynchard said.
Jamie Bryant at 98 Signs and Design offered up the Raider logo to use in the sign design as well.
Lynchard said he feels for the seniors who are missing out on the usual fun of graduating.
Urban said Kurt has been working on his remote learning assignments and keeping his head up.
“He said he misses his friends. He misses seeing them,” Urban said.
For his girlfriend’s birthday, they could not get together with friends, so instead they all drove by her house and honked their horns.
“They stood by their cars and waved at each other. That was hard because you can tell they miss seeing each other,” Urban said.
She said they are not sure if graduation ceremonies will be possible this year due to the large crowds. There are more than 500 seniors in NHS’s graduating class.
“I don’t know how to describe. It’s just a loss,” Urban said.
Still, her son keeps it in perspective. He pointed out that some people have lost their jobs and are struggling making ends meet right now because of the virus.
As the global COVID-19 pandemic drags into April, changing many aspects of daily life, one thing remains the same. The class of 2020 will graduate, one way or another.
Parents and seniors interested in receiving a sign can message Urban on Facebook.
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