CAMILLUS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — COVID-19 is changing the class of 2020’s senior year, but West Genesee High School is transforming an old tradition into a new way to celebrate its seniors.
The 400 seniors have had to cope with an unconventional senior year because of the pandemic. School advisers, counselors and parents wanted to help the class of 2020 to celebrate.
On Saturday, West Genesee seniors and families drove through the school’s parking lot to pick up their cap and gown, a longtime tradition that usually takes place the morning of senior ball.
“I’ve just been missing it so much. Just to see everyone for just a short amount of time was great and it really made me happy,” said Ellen Kearney, West Genesee Senior Vice President.
“This is especially tough for them because they’re seniors and they’re used to all of these momentous occasions that they’re missing out on so we wanted to acknowledge that they were missing those and give them something but do it in a way that was safe and controlled,” Dan Callahan, Senior Class Co-Adviser said.
“Honestly, I never thought that we would have to plan for something like this. We have a lot of traditions here and we’ve really had to think out of the box in a lot of ways to make this safe but also a fun time,” said Becky DeCesare, Senior Class Adviser.
Students were greeted and cheered on by beloved faculty and staff, and the West Genesee Wildcat mascot. Each of the seniors were also given a lawn sign, as a way to celebrate their accomplishments from home.
“It just means so much knowing that even though they have to care for their families and everyone in this time, they’re taking the time to do this for us and for our class. It just means so much to us,” said Ellen Kearney, Senior Class Vice President.
Despite the challenges, the West Genesee community still came together for the class of 2020, and the seniors are continuing to make the most of the time they have left as high school students.
Senior class advisers said that while there are still unknowns ahead, plans are being discussed to honor the senior class and give them a proper goodbye if graduation is cancelled.