Student Council Gives Signs to Graduating Seniors

Students Spread Hope and Foster Community Spirit During COVID-19

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Renee Abbott, News Editor

During the unprecedented times society is facing due to COVID-19, senior activities such as graduation, prom and senior assassin are uncertain. On April 21, Gov. Charlie Baker closed Massachusetts schools for the remainder of the year. WHS Student Council and the Parent Advisory Council (PAC) are collaborating in efforts to distribute congratulatory signs to graduating seniors to help these students grieve the loss of the last few months of school and recognize them for their hard work. 

“The graduating seniors were dealt a lousy hand this year. Typically, every senior looks forward to the spring of senior year and getting involved with the many activities that occur. They are missing that experience, and we want them to know that we are thinking of them, that we support them and that we are proud of them. More importantly, the signs communicate a bond between the members of the class of 2020 that cannot be broken, even by a pandemic. They are signs of hope,” WHS Principal Stephen Imbusch said. 

All seniors are eligible to receive signs, and Student Council either delivered them to houses or offered a pickup location to respect students’ privacy. The congratulatory signs were available in past years and could be personalized with names, but they cost $20. This year, in light of the current health crisis and school cancellations, Student Council and WHS administration decided to provide them for free, with the help and funding from PAC. 

“While the yard signs are in no way meant to replace graduation or prom, I think they do promote unity: something that is naturally lost as we social distance. I drive around town and see the yard signs on people’s lawns and remind myself that I am not alone,” Student Council President Andrea Wilber said. “The yard sign is a small way to recognize all that our class has contributed to the Walpole community these past 13 years, and shows how in turn, the Walpole community has supported us.” 

Student Council, among other student groups and clubs, must adapt to the public health crisis by cancelling or changing activities, as well as changing their form of communication. Like many academic classes, Student Council meets via Google Meet to continue to lead the school. 

“It hasn’t been ideal, but we make it work,” Student Council advisor Kerry McMenimem said. 

Despite obvious changes in everyday life, along with the cancellation of various school events, Walpole has continued to honor the graduating class of 2020. 

“It’s a big moment to complete 12 years of schooling. No matter who you are, even if you don’t like school, graduating is such a big accomplishment. After all we have been through, pandemic and all, I think we deserve a little honor,” senior Bella David said.