‘This com­mu­nity is in­cred­i­ble!’

Sco­tia prin­ci­pal ap­plauds com­mu­nity for help­ing make grad­u­a­tion spe­cial

Times Standard (Eureka) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Mary Bull­winkel

Ex­pect the Un­ex­pected…and Con­quer it! That was the motto cho­sen by this year’s eighth­grade class at Stan­wood A. Mur­phy Ele­men­tary School in Sco­tia, and it has guided the stu­dents through this pan­demic.

“They have def­i­nitely con­quered this unique sit­u­a­tion with con­fi­dence, dili­gence, and op­ti­mism,” Su­per­in­ten­dent/ Prin­ci­pal of the Sco­tia Union School District Amy Gossien said.

A very spe­cial out­door grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony was set for Thurs­day, where fam­i­lies will re­main parked in their cars, and stu­dents will get out one at a time to re­ceive their diplo­mas and awards.

“The stu­dents have im­pressed us so much over the past 12 weeks,” Gossien said, “(and) we are ex­cited to send them off with a spe­cial cer­e­mony they have earned and de­serve.”

The school has pre-recorded the stu­dent’s grad­u­a­tion speeches and the pre­sen­ta­tion of awards, and a copy of the video will be avail­able to the fam­i­lies of each of the 20 grad­u­ates. The cer­e­mony will also be live-streamed for view­ing by ex­tended mem­bers of the fam­i­lies, as well as friends and mem­bers of the com­mu­nity.

“This is def­i­nitely a break from our norm,” Gossien said. “We typ­i­cally hold a very tra­di­tional, per­son­al­ized cer­e­mony in the Winema The­ater, fol­lowed by a fam­ily re­cep­tion and a stu­dent dance.”

“We are mak­ing the best of a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion and plan to make it spe­cial, al­though dif­fer­ent, while ad­her­ing to the Pub­lic Health Depart­ment’s guide­lines,” she con­tin­ued.

Par­ents of the grad­u­ates have also taken steps to give the stu­dents spe­cial recog­ni­tion. One par­ent made per­son­al­ized face­masks for each stu­dent, and oth­ers have placed signs hon­or­ing the grad­u­ates through­out Sco­tia.

“Par­ents asked com­mu­nity mem­bers per­mis­sion to dis­play the signs in their yards, and re­ceived an over­whelm­ing pos­i­tive re­sponse,” Gossien said. “When driv­ing into and through town, one is greeted by blue and white signs with pos­i­tive mes­sages for our grad­u­ates. When I pulled into town this morn­ing and saw all the signs, I was speech­less. This com­mu­nity is in­cred­i­ble!”

Like other grad­u­ates this year, these Sco­tia stu­dents missed out on their eighth­grade trip, end-of-year ac­tiv­i­ties, and for­mal grad­u­a­tion dance.

“They said good­bye to their class­mates and teach­ers on Fri­day, March 13, not ex­pect­ing to only be al­lowed to re­turn to class via vir­tual meet­ings,” Gossien said. “But they have per­se­vered. They took part in on­line lessons and class meet­ings mul­ti­ple times a week. They were fo­cused and took dis­tance learn­ing se­ri­ously and stayed pos­i­tive through the en­tire process.”

This year’s Stan­wood A. Mur­phy Ele­men­tary School grad­u­at­ing eighth-graders are Holly Arteaga, Ye­laxtli Naiema Baldwin Ni­eto, Eli­jah Boyd-Brisco, Addy Camp­bell, Ta­lyn JamesMar­shall Fields, Kelvin Fou­quette, Gabriel Martin Neil Ham­lin, Jacob Ryan Hat­ten, Tay­tum Hoff­man, Maile Dawn Horn, Athena Leighanne Jones, Damien Austin Leaton, Caden Lewis, Lenell Chavez-Lopez, Damien Ed­ward Dean San­der­son, Ne­vaeh Rayne Scholl, Ad­die Sholes, Dom­in­cio Talav­era, Leah Richelle Martin Wil­liams, and Trevor James Yates.

MARY BULL­WINKEL — FOR THE TIMES-STAN­DARD

Signs are posted through­out Sco­tia as spe­cial recog­ni­tion for the 2020eighth-grade class at Stan­wood A. Mur­phy Ele­men­tary School.

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