Hampton High School seniors receive cap and gowns via drive thru

Published 4:19 pm Thursday, April 23, 2020

Hampton High School seniors received their cap and gowns, drive thru style, on Thursday.
Students and parents picked up purchases, made payments and even placed orders to Jostens from their vehicles. Protective gear like gloves were worn during the exchanges.
Joanna Orr, counselor of the school, said everyone would be staying in their cars during the entire exchange.
“Yes ma’am,” she said. “They’re not getting out.”
Orr said they will play it by ear for when and how seniors who placed orders, or did not pick up their memorabilia today, can get them later on.
Despite the bittersweet circumstances and mixed emotions, seniors remained excited to get their memorabilia. Orr said many have continued asking about what lays ahead for prom and graduation. As of now neither have been cancelled, however plans remain to be determined depending on decisions from Carter County Schools and the direction the pandemic goes in.
“As far as I know, none of those end of the year events have been totally cancelled,” said Orr. “I do know that many of the teachers who are working on prom setup are dedicated to do whatever needs to be done so these kids can celebrate.”
According to Orr, the event carried on with business as usual, but noted it could’ve been different if teachers had been there.
“If teachers had been here, I don’t know how it would’ve gone with social distancing. There probably would’ve been a hug fest,” she laughed.
In addition to final events, schooling and awards have been made online. Orr said that the usual award ceremony that takes place the day before graduation is being worked on, with names of those students being passed along. Likewise, yearbook is continuing to wrap up the year through virtual meetings.
During this time, faculty have been encouraged to stay in contact with students as much as possible. Orr praised the flexibility of these teachers.
“Our teachers are very versatile,” she said. “We’ve had to be versatile as educators for years, but this is different. I think they’ve kind of become contortionists with this one.”
Staff have adapted to technology with students, and even held virtual spirit days on the school’s Facebook page.
For Orr, she hopes that students can see the positives.
“This is historical,” she said. “I hope they can see it that way instead of ‘woe is me, I missed out on all this.’ I hope they can realize they represent a graduating class that is like no other, and will hopefully not be another.”

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