Walpole High Senior Mark Falvey Creates Petition for Class of 2021

In June, Walpole High School will prepare to graduate the Class of 2021 after twelve long, eventful years of hard work in the Walpole Public School system. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this graduation, as well as the events leading up to it, will look anything but normal.

Seniors in Walpole High School’s graduating Class of 2021 have not had the easiest, or most traditional junior and senior years. From EEE outbreaks forcing the Class of 2021 to make changes to high school sports and outdoor events, to the pandemic changing the course of their senior year by forcing students into a hybrid schedule, anybody could easily compare the Class of 2021’s last year and a half of school as something pulled straight from an episode of “The Twilight Zone.”

Walpole High School senior Mark Falvey took note of this, and created a petition that he named “Have all the seniors go to school together quarter 4.” The goal of this petition, which can be found on change.org, is to allow the Class of 2021 the opportunity to return to in-person learning full-time.

“Pandemic fatigue has become the new senioritis, and we seniors feel that it is time to begin working towards getting back to some form of normal,” Falvey said.

Many seniors feel this way, as this petition has gained over 100 signatures, mostly from other WHS seniors. Students in the Class of 2021 are very passionate about this petition, as they have had many events cancelled that many have waited years for. Beyond the bigger and more memorable events, many seniors miss the little things that have been taken for granted.

“What I miss the most is just as simple as talking to kids in my classes everyday. With the restrictions, this is really hard to do,” Falvey said.
Walpole High School Principal, Stephen Imbusch, also seems to have noticed the frustrations students are feeling.

“I wasn’t surprised… I’m very well aware of the fact that kids want to be in school”, Imbusch said. “I think if we have learned anything from this pandemic over the last year, it is that school is important… Kids are sad and deflated, and done with this like we all are.”

However, there does seem to be light at the end of the tunnel. Imbusch also said that although he is unsure of when high school will fully reopen, he will be prepared.

“I’m convinced we could do it. There are some parts of the day, like lunch that I’m concerned about, [but] I’m ready,” Imbusch said.
On April 5th, all students in the district will be returning to fully in-person learning for the first time since March 2020, and decisions about senior events will be made in the coming months. Needless to say, Walpole High students can rest assured knowing that administrators are working as hard as they can to make the end of the year meaningful for students.