Throughout high school, students anticipate the coveted second semester of senior year. College applications have ceased and seniors can finally relax, spend time with their peers, and fully embrace “senioritis.” Despite the cancellation of this year’s long-awaited alternative celebrations senior graduation, will take place in the community to honor the seniors’ completion of high school. “In mid-March when the lockdown started, I never would have thought that senior year would end so abruptly, obviously, but I think what bummed us out the most was that these were supposed to be and were going to be the best three months of high school,” senior Agatha Vance said. Due to the unanimous disappointment expressed by the senior class, principal Liz Seabury said that it was challenging to plan a graduation that would meet their expectations. She gathered a team of 15 parent volunteers, ten teachers, and some students to help plan the alternative graduation events. “Initially, it was really hard. I met with the seniors in ASB a couple times, and they had ideas, but they just kept getting to that brick wall like ‘we don’t really want to talk about it,’” Seabury said. The seniors wanted a normal graduation, but county and statewide restrictions include staying restrictions made traditional graduations impossible at this time. These home, only traveling for essential matters, practicing social distancing, and wearing face masks in public. According to California Governor Gavin Newsom, mass gatherings are “not in the cards” until the state achieves herd immunity or develops a vaccine. With this in mind, Seabury knew she had to plan something for the students on June 12, the original day of graduation. “I don’t care if it’s a video, I don’t care if it’s honking the horns, we are going to do something on June 12 to say congratulations,” Seabury said. Other local schools, like Marin Catholic and Novato High School, have already announced their formal graduation ceremonies to occur in late July and early August. However, according to Newsom’s predictions, these ceremonies may not be able to happen. Knowing this, the Drake graduation planning committee’s plan remained consistent in honoring the seniors on June 12. If Marin County receives clearance to have larger group gatherings in August, there may be an additional celebration for Drake seniors. In the meantime, the graduation planning “They’re the ones that kind of got to set the legacy.” committee met weekly for the past month to plan the best possible endof-high-school celebration for the seniors. According to Seabury, three main events will occur from June 1 to 12. The first event, the public-oriented portion of the overarching plan, started on June 1. Seabury and the parent committee ordered four thousand Drake flags for community members and grocery store owners to display in front of their buildings. The committee encourages all community members to decorate their garage doors, mailboxes, storefronts, flagpoles, and cars green during the weeks leading up to graduation. The goal of this overarching idea is to, quite literally, “paint the community green and white” and show ubiquitous support for the graduates. “We’re pretty geeky out here about how much we love our community and our school, so I think people are going to get pretty into this,” Seabury said. The second event that occured on June 1 was Senior Pick-Up Day, where the seniors deposited their textbooks and library books and picked up their caps, gowns, and decoration kits to adorn their cars and bikes for the day of graduation. The last event, on June 12, was graduation, in which seniors received their diplomas and bike or drive through the campus. Later that night, at six o’clock, the seniors’ completion of high school became official. Joined by fire truck sirens, church bells, and car horns, people from West Marin, Fairfax, and San Anselmo cheered in unison to celebrate the seniors. “I think we’re a very unique school in general, and we always kind of stand out with our community, and our spirit, and our love for each other, and just to be a pirate. I think that’s really shining through,” Vance said. Despite this year being the first in recent Drake history not to have a traditional graduation, the planning committee hoped to honor the seniors as well as possible given the unusual circumstances. Seabury hopes that the public will express even more support for the seniors, given the circumstances. She also hopes that some of this year’s traditions, like the “paint the community” and neighborhood cheer, will occur in future years. “They can be the ones to say that they did it first and they did it the best, whatever ‘it’ is - the community cheer, the car graduation, all the other weird things that we’re planning,” Seabury said, “They’re the ones that kind of got to set the legacy.” 4

8 Publizr Home

You need flash player to view this online publication