A giant congratulations to Mount Desert Island High School’s Class of 2020. This year’s class was a class unlike any other. What began as a typical senior year full of activities, athletics and in-person learning took a sharp turn in March shortly after basketball season wrapped up and Jazz Band and Show Choir were headed to states. The term ‘distance learning’ entered everyone’s vocabulary and families learned just how good their home internet connection really was.
It has no doubt been disappointing, with many ups and downs, but by all metrics the Class of 2020 has risen to the occasion. Last week, 115 of the area’s best and brightest took to the stage to receive their diplomas in the school’s first physically–distant celebration. While it may not have been the graduation ceremony students had hoped for, the community and parents rallied and worked to make it as special as it could be under the circumstances.
In the end, everyone made the best of it. The Beacon Bar and Grill in Trenton offered its parking lot for a drive-in style class slideshow that featured larger-than-life images of the students throughout the years. At graduation, students made their way to the stage—a few at a time—to find their diplomas waiting for them on a table. After posing for a photo, a cacophony of car horns ushered the student from the stage. No handshakes, no hugs. Just honking.
Graduates, as you turn that tassel and head into the world, know that your perseverance this year will help you along the way. There is an old adage about life giving you lemons and turning them into lemonade. Well, Class of 2020, while life might be a bit sour right now, add some sugar and a splash of water and watch what happens. It is easy to get lost in the “would haves” or “could haves,” but that does nothing to build one’s character.
Entering adulthood during a pandemic is probably not how you imagined life playing out when you arrived at school in September, but you’ve embraced the tough spots, ironed out the rough spots and have proven that you can rise to the challenge.