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Hats Off To You, Class of 2020

There is an old adage that endings are over before you know it. And this school year, it rained especially true.

After growing concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic cut short the in-person studies of the fourth quarter or (or the semester, depending on the education level), many year-end celebrations were put on hold and then ultimately canceled, forcing administrators, teachers and the community to rally together to put on unique outdoor ceremonies, drive-thru parades, virtual award accolades… anything they could think of to keep special recognitions from going unnoticed in uncertain times.

The end of the 2020 school year is likely to be one that most of us will never forget. While we here have often included in years past pictures of our graduating high school seniors, this year we wanted to do something different, something special. We wanted to commemorate the end of an era for all of our county graduates. Inside we have each of the Washington County schools graduating eighth grade and high school class. There are department awards, scholarship announcements, local Illinois scholars, athletic awards.

The closing of this chapter in your lives has been special, unique, and a lot of planning has gone in to make sure that your moment has remained special. Your story is changing just as the world has changed. For many of you, you left school not knowing it was your last day. Others departed the grounds not knowing if or when you would be back. But when the announcement was made that in-person studies would not resume, you stayed the course and finished with degrees soon-to-be in hand.

Each of the pictures and names reflected in this special feature is beginning a new chapter once school resumes again, and while it is not known at this point what those classroom studies will look like, we felt that those milestones should not go unnoticed. Your hard work and determination up to this point is to be shown the incredible spotlight and all the pomp and circumstance you deserve.

You did it, and you did it at a time when not many prior graduates can say they’ve experienced the same and maybe not many after.

You did it, and you should be proud.

We are.

For all of these reasons and more, we honor you.

– Leah Williams, Managing Editor

The Nashville News

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