On a steamy Sunday morning in July, the faculty, parents, and support staff of the school and town under Galante’s leadership delivered in full. Under a Buccaneer-blue sky and in the midst of temperatures soaring to near-100 degrees the Class of 2020 picked up their diplomas and brought their last year of secondary school to an end. Among other things, it was the first time the class had been together since their abrupt departure on March 11.
In many ways, the scene was familiar: kids in caps and gowns, proud parents taking photos, a stage set up with microphones and speaker platforms. In other ways, startlingly different: “Pomp and Circumstance” but no procession; diplomas awarded but no congratulatory handshakes or hugs; chairs carefully spaced six feet apart and admonishments to “please not congregate.” Umbrellas – acting as parasols – were distributed to each family so that by the time the ceremony began Sabourin Field was a sea of the blue and white school colors.
When life as we knew it ended back in March, Karen Santos was just starting the busiest time of her school year as faculty advisor for the Bedford High School yearbook, The Buccaneer. Suddenly, the school was closed, and shortly afterward she received word from Susan Happel, agent and colleague, representing the Herff-Jones Printing Company which publishes the BHS yearbook, that production had been stopped. Some advisors might have thrown in the towel in the face of all that uncertainty and simply said “no book this year.” Santos had no such thoughts.
ByTeri Morrow, President and Publisher, The Bedford Citizen |
Today in the virtual pages of The Bedford Citizen we bring you our first-ever Special Tribute Edition dedicated to all of Bedford’s high school seniors. Whether you attended Bedford High School, Shawsheen Tech, or an independent high school we salute your achievements and your resilience in this very unusual year.
Click this link in the actual story to read The Bedford Citizen’s Tribute to the Class of 2020. After graduation The Citizen will offer this special edition in PDF format,
so it can be printed and saved alongside your yearbook and other mementos.
I know there was a lot surrounding graduation that didn’t happen this year…but we are struck by the creative and innovative ways that so much did happen…and may even happen yet. Virtual awards are not as much fun as the in-person events, but our kids got recognized. While photos of friends in caps and gowns are not as wonderful as photos together in caps and gowns, hundreds of pictures and videos are being shared through The Citizen. Yard signs dot our local landscape…and for the first time were hand-delivered by BHS principal Heather Galante and teacher Charlie Humphrey. Cap-and-gown pick-up was transformed into a mini-parade which made a socially distanced attempt to allow students and teachers to see one another one last time.
To the Class of 2020: We’ve brought all of this and more together into a single edition of The Bedford Citizen. This edition captures the ways in which parents, teachers, administrators, town officials and employees, and Bedford at-large came together in the Year of the Pandemic to ensure that your graduation would be recognized and remembered as the important milestone it is…Covid-19 be damned!
A huge thank-you and shout-out to the many hands that brought this special edition to life: Heather Galante; Andy Pigeon; Charlie Humprey; Patrick Morrissey; Jonathan Pierre; Keith Mangan; Karen Santos; the 2020 BHS Senior Parents Committee; Jeff Hoyland; Rep. Ken Gordon; and all those who generously shared their videos and photographs with us.
The Bedford Citizen’s Tribute to the Class of 2020 was coordinated by Ginni Spencer with help from Gene Kalb, Meredith McCulloch, Mike Rosenberg, Jordan Stewart, and Julie Turner.
The expressions of support for Bedford’s high school graduates have been heartfelt and creative, reflecting the entire town’s desire to ensure that this milestone does not get lost to the harsh realities of a pandemic. Teacher Jim Felker’s contribution is a shining addition to this list — an original song entitled “The Gallant Buccaneers.
Felker is Band Director at Bedford High School and teaches world drumming and music production. He has taught in Bedford for 20 years. He is also a career musician who says he has written many songs…but composing this one was a special experience.
Like countless seniors around the nation, Shawsheen Tech’s Class of 2020 has a distinctly unique Senior Year. This year’s graduating class includes 5 students from Bedford.
Editor’s Note: Thanks to Andy Pidgeon for helping The Bedford Citizen to recognize these students for their hard work and determination during their time at Shawsheen Tech. Shawsheen’s graduation ceremony is set for three evenings — June 16, 17, and 18 pending approval of the Billerica Board of Health. Final details will be released as soon as they are available.
On Monday evening in the final meeting of a selection panel made up of teachers and administrators, Hannah O’Connor was chosen as the student speaker for the BHS graduation ceremony now scheduled for Sunday, July 19th.
To the BHS Class of 2020, congratulations. You are moving on from BHS fully prepared to tackle the challenges that await. Whether your next step will involve college, the workforce, the military or otherwise, know that the work you have done will help you down the path to your future.
Patrick Morrissey, Math Program Administrator for Bedford High School and John Glenn Middle School, was selected by the Class of 2020 to speak at its graduation ceremony. Be it virtual or real, sooner or later, Morrissey was proud to be invited to address the class and their families.
Dear Class of 2020, I am so thrilled that the Bedford Citizen has assembled a special edition as a tribute to you. You are so deserving. When we parted ways on March 11, we could not have predicted that would be the last time we would all be at Bedford High School together
Early in 2019, the Bedford School Department set Graduation for the Class of 2020 on Thursday, June 4.
The last day of in-person classes was Thursday, March 12, before Covid-19 and a mandated stay-at-home order turned the world on its ear. Classes switched to online learning, and the rest is history.
To honor Thursday, June 4, this story is posting just after 6 pm on 6/4/2020. Superintendent Sills, Principal Galante, METCO Director Mondesir, and School Committee Chair Santiago have checked in with messages to you, the BHS Class of 2020.
The Bedford Citizen is pleased to announce that it is preparing its first-ever special edition which will be dedicated exclusively to local young people graduating from high school this year. This issue will be published on or about June 8th and will be chock full of written content, photos, and videos for and about them.
Can you help us by sharing photos of students taken over the course of this year and most importantly taken during the time leading up to what-would-have-been-graduation? Our goal is to create a keepsake edition for seniors and their families capturing this very unique commencement year. (We are particularly interested in cap-and-gown photos but you are not limited to that.)
Please note: The Citizen wishes to honor ALL of Bedford’s high school graduates, not just those graduating from BHS. If your senior attended Shawsheen Valley Technical High School or an independent high school outside of Bedford we would like to honor them as well.
Photos may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include names, dates, and the high school from which your senior is graduating if other than Bedford High School.