‘This community is incredible!’
Scotia principal applauds community for helping make graduation special
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.
Signs are posted throughout Scotia as special recognition for the 2020eighth-grade class at Stanwood A. Murphy Elementary School.