XENIA — High school graduating classes are rarely forgotten.
But it’s likely the Xenia High School class of 2020 will be talked about for decades to come. Because of COVID-19, the 267 who received diplomas did so after finishing the last few months learning from home — not being able to go for a state title in sports, enjoy a final dance at prom, or walk across the stage in the Nutter Center during commencement.
It was definitely a one-of-a-kind school year.
“Much has been said about the class of 2020, and these students have navigated a lot of ‘firsts’ over the past few months,” Superintendent Dr. Gabe Lofton. “Yet, I cannot help but feel pride as I see the way that our community has come together to support and honor them in new and unique ways that no class before them has ever experienced. I am proud of the students and their years of accomplishments as part of Xenia Community Schools, and cannot wait to see what they accomplish as they move on to the next phase of their adult lives.”
Out of the class, 73 percent are college-bound, while 4 percent have joined the military. The class earned more than $7.2 million in scholarships.
The graduates of distinction — those in the top 5 percent of the class — are Seth Bedrowsky; Molly Brown; Lillian Calhoun; Bethany Groeschen; Cobi Haverfield; Katie Holmes; Logann Jackson; Claire Marotta; Cameron McFarland; Taylor McNamee; Nathan Saner; and Eric Wilson.
Not all was lost because of the coronavirus. The class did have a virtual ceremony on YouTube and was honored with a parade through town. Community members — many with no ties to the school district — lined North Detroit and West Main streets in support.
“I am also incredibly proud of the care that went into celebrating these students by our graduation committee and community members, whose desire to honor our graduates lead them to plan and carry out multiple initiatives to recognize these students in the middle of a pandemic that closed down much of our state,” Lofton said.
School Board President Jennifer Marietta said when the pandemic is over her hope is that “we can each remember the kindness we shared.”
“This is not the senior year these kids expected or deserved,” she said. “We want each and every one of them to know that they are valued and cared about in Xenia, and that we celebrate all of the hard work that they have done. These young people are our hope and our future.“
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.