Expectations, Hope and Disappointment

A Bittersweet End to the School Year
Posted on 06/15/2020
Image of Drew Oliver(Jennifer Pignolet for Ohio.com/Akron Beacon Journal)

In her white cap and gown and with her beaming father at the edge of the stage, Buchtel high school valedictorian Drew Oliver began her graduation speech with a bit of an understatement.

“Needless to say, our senior year did not unfold how we expected,” Oliver said into a video camera.

The coronavirus zapped the last three months of the class of 2020′s high school careers, their time together and the special occasions that normally define one’s senior year.

Like graduation. For some valedictorians and others who would normally have the chance to address their class from the stage, the canceled ceremonies were yet another letdown, another defining moment of their young lives evaporated.

Akron Public Schools, along with many other districts, moved to a video recorded ceremony, still giving those students a chance to deliver their speeches, which have been shown online over the last few weeks.

Several of those speakers, some with remarkable stories of perseverance, used that moment to try to uplift their classmates through this time, even though they can’t be together. Read more here >>.

Image of Drew Oliver
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