Unaka High School shows support for the class of 2020

Published 6:01 pm Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Unaka High School is showing support for their seniors in a variety of ways during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On April 18, seniors at the high school were supposed to have their prom. Due to the pandemic, this was unable to take place. To show support for their graduating class, faculty brainstormed what to do the day before prom was set to occur. On Saturday night, stadium lights were turned on and music was played. The Stoney Creek Volunteer Fire Department attended, and honked their horns as the hour-long event began at 8 p.m.
According to Lisa McGinnis, counselor at the school, parents and students were invited to come by. Many sat parked in cars along the road during the hour this event was held, to show support.
“It was a very humbling experience,” said McGinnis. “You know you think about all the stuff they’re missing, and it’s hard to imagine, but then Saturday night while me and Mrs. Oliver were walking around as the lights came on, it hit us. We were doing the ugly cry because of what memories they’re missing.”
In addition to honoring prom, the school’s Facebook page has taken to highlighting the school’s seniors. Those wishing to have their child recognized are asked to send a photo and a little bit about their child in a message to the page.
“It’s just something we wanted to do to highlight our seniors,” said McGinnis. “It’s a way to recognize seniors and let them know that we’re thinking about them. The whole Ranger community is behind them and cheering them on.”
In addition to Unaka’s senior spotlight, there is also a page called “Adopt a Senior.” This page features seniors from the Carter County and Elizabethton areas, homeschooled as well. This is aided by McGinnis and Dani Williams.
McGinnis said she and Williams got the idea after seeing another county doing this for their seniors.
“What a great idea to combine all of our schools and let all of our students know that our whole community supports them,” she said.
Students are given the hashtag adopted or available, so that if someone wants to choose this senior to send a card or other type of gift, they can do so. Pictures here are posted by guardians, and those wishing to send a gift can message parents and send things through them, or to Cloudland or Unaka High School.
McGinnis said this page is public, and people can do anything from adopting to simply congratulating a senior.
“It can be anything from leaving a comment saying you’re proud of them, or sending a message,” said McGinnis. “When they adopt a senior, it can be as little or big as the adopters want it to be. It’s just a way to once again show these seniors we’re proud of them.”
For more information on Unaka’s senior spotlight, you can go to Unaka High News Facebook page. To congratulate or adopt a senior, you can go to the Adopt a 2020 Senior, Carter County/Elizabethton City Schools group’s page.
“These seniors were born during the 9/11 era, and are going out with COVID-19, so they’re going out with a bang,” she said. “We know with that pattern, they’re going to do something big in this world.”

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