Pentucket Regional High School Seniors Receive Signs, T-Shirts via Parade Tuesday

From left, Groveland Firefighter Kris Vallone, Pentucket parent Bonnie Murray, Pentucket parent Jill Joyce, Assistant Principal Frank Kowalski, Pentucket parent Mimi Keeves and driver Julie Green. (Photograph courtesy of  Pentucket Regional School District.)

Approximately 180 Pentucket Regional High School seniors were greeted by administrators and parents Tuesday who rode buses decorated with banners that read “Class of 2020, We are Proud of You” and imprinted with the Pentucket “P.”

Pentucket Superintendent Justin Bartholomew and High School Principal Jonathan Seymour said the buses were accompanied by a fire engine and police cruiser from Groveland, Merrimac and West Newbury. They visited the home of each senior, and each was given a lawn sign which read, “Proud Supporter of a Pentucket High School Class of 2020 Senior #inthistogether;” t-shirt, which read “Pentucket 2020 senior #inthistogether;” and gift certificate for a free ice cream, donated by Long Hill Orchard and Farm, West Newbury. The t-shirts, lawn signs and banners were designed by volunteer Johanna Tolman.

“This was a really special, festive way for us to recognize our seniors, and surprise them at a time when they may need a reminder that we’re all here for them,” Seymour said.

The effort was coordinated by the Pentucket Parent Alliance Senior Celebration Committee, a nonprofit committee formed in 1994 that hosts an annual senior celebration. Each year, the event offers a substance-free, chaperoned, all-night opportunity for seniors to celebrate graduation. Whether the event still happens this year has yet to be determined, pending further guidance from the state on social distancing. Julie Conover, Alliance member, said, “This is a big milestone for the class of 2020, and we knew this was an opportunity to surprise and celebrate the senior class in a meaningful way that lets them know we’re thinking about them, but also in a safe, organized manner.”

Bartholomew added, “Our seniors deserve to be celebrated, and to fully feel the joy and sense of accomplishment that comes with graduating from high school.”

Parade participants followed social distancing guidelines and wore face coverings. The Class of 2020 graduation ceremony is scheduled to take place Saturday, June 6, and Pentucket High School and district administrators are working with student leaders, parents and guardians to develop ways to celebrate the senior class that adhere to the evolving social distancing guidelines and standards being set by the state.

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