For many seniors across the country, 2020 will prove to be a memorable year for many reasons. However, teachers and staff with Sherman Independent School District are working to ensure some of these memories are positive.
Educators, administrators and other staff joined together in a time of social distancing to recognize the accomplishments of the 2020 Sherman High School class Thursday evening. District officials drive throughout the city to deliver more than 400 yard signs to recognize the households with graduating seniors.
“The event is designed to honor our seniors and recognize all their hard work,” SISD Superintendent David Hicks said. “We have nearly 100 staff, former educators and district staff participating and we are excited to recognize our seniors.
“We want the class of 2020 to know how proud the community is and how excited we are for their futures and placing these yard signs seemed like a safe and personal way to connect with each one of them.”
In mid-March, Sherman, along with many districts throughout the country, closed its doors and transitioned to virtual education amid the ongoing coronavirus epidemic. Last week, Governor Greg Abbott announced that all Texas schools will remain shuttered for the remainder of the school year.
While this leaves questions about the future of staple senior events, including the May commencement, officials said they wanted to find a way to recognize the senior class.
SHS Principal Jenifer Politi said more than 130 people, ranging from current high school educators and central office staff to elementary principals, volunteered to help deliver the signs
“it really is a district-wide and community distribution,” Politi said, noting volunteers would be practicing social distancing.
The idea of using yard signs to recognize senior classes has been discussed by multiple districts in recent weeks, including Denison Independent School District, who plans to roll out their own signs in coming days.
“We have asked our seniors to take selfies with their signs and post them on social media with #finishstrong,” Politi said.
A second series of signs are expected to be delivered next week for the top ten of the 2020 class, Politi said.
“We want them to form a memory and find a positive in all of this. This is out way of showing appreciation and recognizing that they don’t get to finish how they’ve planned for 12 years and we hope that they appreciate this small token of our appreciation.”
Starting Monday, the district will unveil another way it is recognizing seniors when it starts publishing pictures of students in their caps and gowns. The district plans to continue these posts daily through graduation.
In early May, the district will also distribute the caps and gowns for graduation via drive-thru. At the same time, students will be given senior awards.
The district is expected to make announcements regarding other senior events as early as Friday, officials said.
Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.