For many highschoolers, senior year dangles like a carrot, helping underclassmen trudge through three years of various difficulties, eager to take that victory lap. Although many fond memories are made throughout their experience, the memories made during senior year are often the fondest. Senior prom, graduation, and class parties are among the anticipated gatherings of that culminating year.  With the current pandemic, however, many of these cherished events have been put on hold or have been cancelled altogether, much to the dismay of all involved. Providence seniors, however, are making new–and just as lasting–memories.

Father Michael McClellan, Chaplain, and Dr. Todd Flanders, Headmaster, prepare to hand off a gourmet meal to seniors at the Drive By Banquet, Tuesday May 27. PAW photo courtesy of Mrs. Kelly Harrington

Abby Collins ’20 commented. “Personally, I was done with all of my college stuff in March. So I told myself that I could relax a little and enjoy the rest of senior year. Well, be careful what you wish for. I have a little more time to relax but I can’t spend the rest of my senior year with my friends, the way I wanted to”.

In an effort to make senior year memorable in spite of unfortunate circumstances, Providence has made adjustments to the scheduled events and ceremonies to ensure that not a moment of fun is unnecessarily lost.  “The kids just want to be together and celebrate. It’s difficult to honor that and keep everyone safe at the same time,” senior mom Heidi Heim shared.

Seniors have been doing many things to keep in touch and keep the spirits of graduation up. Just this past Tuesday, May 27, the traditional senior banquet was held online after a drive through victory lap where students picked up their gourmet meal to-go. Providence has also made good use of lawn signs for all of the graduating seniors, as well as ensuring that the iconic senior cut outs are still made and sent.

Perhaps the biggest change of all will be the graduation ceremony itself. But, pursuing what Dr. Flanders calls “the art of the possible”, PA will make use of the front lawn and the parking lot for the ceremony and distribution of diplomas, taking the extra measures necessary to comply with current health guidelines and restrictions of gatherings.

Band director Mr. Thomas Jones is already working to have “Pomp and Circumstance” ready for the procession. Jones will gather several band students in the Symphonic Band Honors program to send in recordings of the iconic tune, which he’ll compile in order to make a unique arrangement for the seniors.

These unprecedented times do call for unprecedented creativity, and maybe even a silver lining or two.  Justin Kim ’20 commented, “I like the idea of doing graduation outside. It could be especially nice with good weather”.

Here’s to clear vision, better days ahead, and a silver lining in every cloud for the class of 2020, virtually the best class ever.

Putting Providence in the rear view, but hopefully finding their way back to visit, soon, the class of 2020 gears up for a final send off, next Friday’s first ever PA parking lot graduation. PAW photo courtesy of Mrs. Kelly Harrington

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