Valley Central High School teachers gathered with masks and gloves in the parking lot of VCHS on May 7th to pick up lawn signs and lists of Senior Class students that had been prepared by VCHS administrators. In cars and trucks decorated with blue and white streamers and balloons, the staff members traveled around the district and even beyond to deliver 340 lawn signs to members of the Class of 2020. Many of the staff went in caravan, honking as they approached an appointed address with special playlists blaring from their cars. When they arrived they would keep an appropriate social distance congratulating the students and their families from driveways and telling them how much they were missed. Many of the seniors promised that it would not be the last the staff saw of them and that they intend to visit the school when they are allowed to again, even if it is as alumni. It took almost seven hours for the staff members to complete the deliveries.
“This was the best school day I have had since the shutdown began,” said VCHS Music Department Chair, Kim Carver.
There was a lot of preparation that made the special day happen. The All Night Grad Party committee had been discussing a lawn sign campaign for the Class of 2020 before the shut down. VCHS Principal Jayme Ginda-Baxter contacted All Night Grad Party committee member Heather Jurgens to see if they could still make that happen and it took off from there. The ANG committee took care of ordering the signs, and provided part of the funding. The HS Administration team then worked to get community support to secure the rest of the funding. It was important to Principal Ginda-Baxter that the parents of the seniors not be asked to fund them, especially during these trying times. The Town of Montgomery Community Response team, the PTA’s of Montgomery Elementary and VCMS, the VCHS Student Government Association and private donations all made the sign campaign possible.
Ginda-Baxter ensured that families would have a heads up that something special would be delivered Thursday afternoon by sending them a message and asking them to send any videos and photos to the high school. The response from parents was overwhelming and the photos and videos are being compiled into a series of short videos, and a Facebook photo album. There will be a presentation that contains all the photos and videos set to music that will be made available to all the senior class members.
Jayme Ginda-Baxter expressed her gratitude to the community for their support of the senior class and to the staff who spent hours preparing for the day and delivering the signs.
“There have been many ‘firsts’ while we have all been in quarantine, and certainly the delivery of 340 lawn signs is one of them! The smiles on the faces of the Seniors was what all of us needed to get through this trying time,” she said.