By MADDY VITALE
Ocean City High School’s seniors picked up their caps and gowns, Class of 2020 lawn signs and senior T-shirts Monday at the high school, among other mementos, in anticipation of the virtual graduation next month.
Monday was the official kickoff to the Class of 2020 celebrations.
The coronavirus pandemic has created some unusual circumstances. Remote learning and traditional ways to celebrate a milestone such as a graduation have been replaced – at least for now – with selfies donning the graduation attire to add to a forum where the community, fellow students and teachers may view them.
“It was heartwarming to see the seniors today and be able to have our staff, the fire department and police department working together to celebrate our seniors,” said Superintendent of the Ocean City School District Dr. Kathleen Taylor.
She added, “We are so happy to have been able to finally kick off their graduation season with the Pomp and Circumstance they surely deserve. I would like to thank all of the students for adhering and cooperating to the safety guidelines given, and all served as models for adhering to the social distancing and mask wearing.”
The senior T-shirts were provided by the Ocean City Teachers Association and the Class of 2020 lawn signs were supplied by the Ocean City Education Foundation. Students happily wore their T-shirts and displayed their new lawn signs announcing their accomplishment.
Students, families and faculty are finding ways to work through this unprecedented time with a strong school spirit and bonds developed over the course of four high school years, students said.
Brynn Bowman, 18, of Ocean City, picked up her cap and gown and senior T-shirt first thing Monday.
“It was kind of sad to go back for one last time in the school. I walked right through the front doors for the first time in a while,” she noted. “I will support what they want to do for us because they are trying their hardest to make our year happier.”
Schools were closed amid the outbreak officially on March 17 and the students have been taught remotely since.
“The teachers made it happy in a sense,” Bowman said. “We got to see our favorite teachers again. Seeing Principal (Matt) Jamison again also made my day.”
Bowman, a star tennis player at OCHS, will be attending Stockton University in the fall and study early childhood education to become a teacher. She will also play tennis for the college.
She said something particularly uplifting for her, as she picked up her packet, was receiving a time capsule she made at the Ocean City Intermediate School back in eighth grade.
“That was awesome. I didn’t know we were getting them,” she said. “I had notes in there from friends and family pictures. I hope the eighth graders get to make them, too. My cousin is in eighth grade.”
For more information visit the Ocean City School District website at: www.oceancityschools.org