All HHS Senior Events Cancelled, Postponed, or Rescheduled Until Further Notice

Mallory Gillespie, Editor

Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, seniors all around the world have been affected immensely and Hershey High School is no exception. As HHS nears the end of the 2019-20 school year, the administration has had to make some tough decisions regarding the Class of 2020’s final activities and ceremonies.

Superintendent Joe McFarland recently sent a letter to seniors and their families explaining their end of year plans and most importantly, graduation. The letter states the following: 

  1. DTSD will be honoring the senior class with Class of 2020 yard signs distributed to all members the first week of May. Members of  HHS staff have volunteered to place these in yards or doorways without violating social distancing guidelines.
  2. A virtual revealing of HHS Senior Superlatives results will be held on May 20, 2020 at 7:00 p.m for seniors.
  3. May 27, 2020 will be the last day of (online) classes for seniors. Senior awards will also be held virtually.
  4. May 28 and 29 are dates reserved for cap, gown, and tassel pickup and returning school issued items. Specific times for drop off and pick up are still to be shared. 
  5. A virtual commencement ceremony will be held on June 3, 2020 (the original date for graduation) at 4:00 p.m. The event details are still evolving, but the administration hopes to organize a drive through diploma pick up.
  6. On July 22, 2020, HHS has scheduled a Senior Picnic and Hersheypark Day for seniors and faculty members only. As long as guidelines permit, this event will proceed as scheduled and act as a last time to get together as a class.

The administration will be sharing more details to senior families about their plans for the virtual graduation and all other events once they receive more guidance and clarity from state and local officials.

“We share the disappointment and sadness being experienced by our students and their families,” said McFarland, “Please know that the safety of our students and their families are paramount along with balancing what we can do to celebrate and honor all of our seniors in a way that aligns with current scientific guidance.”

While the information released will be ever changing based upon the severity of the coronavirus in our county and the direction of state officials, seniors and other students still have hope to change the Class of 2020’s unlucky fate. Senior Jason Zaprazny took the time to write out a thought provoking letter addressing the opportunities available for alternate versions of graduation. 

“Obviously the depth of the situation is unparalleled, and a commencement is, all thing considered, incredibly insignificant during such a time,” said Zaprazny, “But normalcy is exactly why it’s worth fighting for, and until every potential plan, every possibility can be outright denied, there is no reason for a call on cancellation to be made until a time where such a conclusion can’t be reached.”

Along with the work by Zaprazny, other seniors and students at HHS have written emails in hopes to sway the administration to look into more options, abiding by any guidelines and protocols in place of course. Students hope to give the class the best graduation and senior events possible although in an unusual time.

Students at Hershey, especially seniors, have had so many things taken away from them, and they do not want graduation to be one of them. These are heartbreaking times for them amidst everything else going on. 

Senior Claire Sheppard said, “The class of 2020 deserves a real graduation. If there’s any way we can plan a safe, socially distanced commencement, I know the students and staff at Hershey will do everything we can to make it happen.”