Celebrating Kennett High School’s Class of 2020
By Steven Hoffman
A group of volunteers, including 23 Kennett High School teachers and administrators as well as members of the Kennett Education Foundation, surprised the students in the Class of 2020 with a heartfelt tribute last week.
For two hours last Wednesday, the volunteers drove the school district’s bus routes, planting yard signs in the lawns of all 326 members of Kennett High School’s 129th graduating class. The signs, lettered in blue and white, congratulated students who have had their senior years disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Dr. Rudy Karkosak, the president of the Kennett Education Foundation, there was a realization that the Class of 2020 was missing out on some of the most important events of senior year. They wanted to do something special to honor the Class of 2020.
“The Kennett Education Foundation is pleased to partner with Kennett High School and the school district in honoring the Class of 2020,” Karkosak said. “We realize that the seniors are missing many of the activities that they would have shared as graduates, but we hope they will accept these signs as recognition of their accomplishments and a token of the community’s support.”
Karkosak, a former superintendent of the Kennett Consolidated School District, is the grandfather of two Kennett High School seniors. He said everyone was motivated to extend their best wishes to the graduating seniors.
Karkosak credited Kennett Education Foundation board member Ann Schlitz with bringing the idea of the yard signs to the school district’s attention. Schlitz saw some pictures on social media of other schools across the country using signs to honor their graduates in this unprecedented time.
There was overwhelming support for the idea, and the Kennett Education Foundation funded the signs, which proudly proclaim that the Kennett Education Foundation congratulates the Class of 2020. On the reverse side of each sign, the same well wishes are printed in Spanish.
A total of 400 signs were printed, with plans to place the additional 75 signs at the high school itself, all of the district elementary schools, the middle school, the Kennett Y, the Garage, and other businesses and locations around town, so residents are reminded of the important milestone reached by the seniors.
Senior class advisor Peggy Hughes took the lead in organizing the distribution of the signs and recruiting volunteers.
“When I asked for help,” she said, “the response was overwhelming. Everyone wanted to do something. Our seniors are so loved, not just by those of us at the high school, but by the whole community.”
Kennett High School principal Dr. Jeremy Hritz added, “We are very disappointed for our seniors for the way their year has been disrupted. Honoring them with the yard signs is a way for us to let them know we are thinking about them and that we care about them. We are grateful for the Kennett Education Foundation making this possible.”
Students are encouraged to pose with their families in front of their sign and Tweet their photos @KCSDKennettHS.