People Say Senior Year Flies By; for Class of 2020, it Zooms


Maroon Staff

SHS Seniors throw their graduation caps during the Class of 2019 graduation ceremony.

Chelsea Berson

“Being a senior during this unsettling time period isn’t easy. It’s upsetting that we all worked so hard for 13 years and it had to end like this. Since I was little, I always looked forward to getting to walk down the red carpet in my prom dress, but now I will never get to do that,” stated high school senior Abby Fehrenbaker ‘20.

When schools shut down in order to ensure students’ safety during this outbreak of COVID-19, the Class of 2020 lost their final year at Scarsdale High School. First, the traditional annual game of assassin was canceled. Then spring break, the senior play, senior options, prom, and a number of other traditions that the current seniors will never get to experience. As the end of this school year approached, the question arose: what about graduation? 

On May 21st, an email enclosed with an outline for the end of the year, including the plans for graduation, was sent to seniors. On Thursday, June 23 at 2:30 p.m. Scarsdale will have their first-ever virtual graduation via Zoom. “That feeling of pride you get shaking your teachers’ hand at graduation is indescribable. It’s like an overwhelming, ‘I did it.’ I can’t imagine not getting that after all those years of hard work,” said Scarsdale graduate Alana Berson ’17. The link for the online graduation will be sent to seniors and their parents prior to the ceremony and posted on the District website. Then, later that day, seniors are invited to drive through Scarsdale High School’s campus starting at 4:00 pm. There, they will be greeted and cheered on by teachers and staff. In the week following graduation, diplomas will be mailed home, along with senior yearbooks in late August. 

“When I first received the outline of senior events I was fairly disappointed with what was going to happen. I have worked extremely hard through high school and was looking forward to a large graduation. While I know that this is now not possible I would have hoped for a more socially distanced, but in-person graduation. Despite this disappointment, I appreciate all the efforts that the faculty has put in to try and make our graduation special, such as their lawn sign drive by and creating a calendar of fun senior activities to do in the days leading up to when graduation was supposed to be,” disclosed Zoe Kleinman ‘20. 

The calendar of senior activities is a calendar of the school days from June 1st to June 23rd. On each day is a special event: virtual lunches with faculty on June 1st; TikTok Tuesday on June 2nd, 9th, and 12th; free cupcakes at Lulu’s bakery and $5 sandwiches from Giannoni’s Deli on June 4th; “buy one, get one free” ice cream from scoop shop and $6 for two plain slices and a can of soda from Italian Village on June 5th; trivia night on June 8th; senior transition day on June 10th; professional graduation photos and signing the memory book on June 11th and 12th; yard signs on June 15th and 18; cap decorating on June 17th; chalking 2.0 on June 19th; car decorating on June 22nd; and finally, the scheduled Zoom graduation on June 23.

“In the beginning, I was very disappointed with a virtual graduation, drive by and getting our diplomas mailed to us. However, now that Cuomo announced we can have graduations outside up to 150 people, I am hopeful that the administration will come up with a new plan for us… It’s difficult to accept that this is how our year has to end, but as a grade, we are working to make it the best it can be,” remarked Fehrenbaker. 

Although seniors are somewhat dissatisfied with the current plans in place, they appreciate all the effort that Scarsdale faculty and staff have put into making this year’s graduation special. However, as Fehrenbaker brought to light, the possibility of a more conventional, in-person graduation has left seniors optimistic.