A Letter to BHS Seniors

Dear Class of 2020,

Congratulations to the Class of 2020, the students, teachers, coaches, parents and families.  At no time in history have graduating classes been asked to navigate the journey that you have faced as well as to end your senior year like this one has ended. The grace and determination with which you have handled this situation speaks volumes to who you are and what you will become. The way in which you have carried yourselves throughout this current crisis demonstrates not only the strength of your families and the strength of your character, but to the strength of our future; a future that will be in your hands.

I said early in this closure, that while many aspects of the school district have been impacted, it is our seniors who would be denied the traditional rites of passage. Activities such as prom, fine arts performances, athletic contests, and graduation, the way they have always been done, are not possible if we are to keep ourselves, and more importantly, each other safe. I know this has been a very challenging time for students, families, and staff. I know many of you personally. I can still see you as elementary students, eager to learn and grow and, even then, protecting and caring for each other, supporting and promoting causes and organizations that strive to help those in need. One thing I can say is that you have and you most definitely will make a difference in this world. After facing this crisis, and making the sacrifices you have been forced to make to protect our community, there will be nothing you face that won’t mobilize the collective group, demonstrating as you have now, the positive energy to rise above adversity and emerge stronger and better for your efforts. 

Graduation represents the culmination of 13 years of hard work, a time when you turn the page to a new chapter, while realizing the success of the time and work you devoted to accomplishing this milestone. I can assure you that, as superintendent of schools, I too wish we could all celebrate the amazing accomplishments of the Class of 2020 in the way in which you have always imagined. Given what we face, our new challenge is to create an opportunity in which you feel honored and celebrated, while respecting the dangers of the virus and complying with the rules of social-distancing that are required for us to gather.  

 We have a plan to accomplish this.  We cannot know for sure that there will be a possibility to get together live, so we have scheduled a graduation that meets the requirements of social distancing. First, I am excited to honor our seniors along with our school community, on  June 5th, through our plans for a “rolling rally” car parade on our high school campus and again on June 7th with our “social distancing” graduation. We are all disheartened by the current situation, but since we cannot guarantee we will be afforded the opportunity to come back together before the end of the summer, we must ensure you receive your diplomas and are officially recognized for your accomplishments. 

Secondly, we will schedule a live ceremony celebrating the graduates at the end of July or the beginning of August at Hurd Stadium (if allowed) where you, as Beverly’s graduating class of 2020, can march in your caps and gowns to “Pomp & Circumstance”, have your names announced, cross the main stage and be honored as this year’s graduating class of BHS in front of families and loved ones--the way it was supposed to be in the first place. 

While none of these circumstances were foreseen, and through no fault of your own you are forced to adapt to change; a change that was not what you imagined or envisioned, and certainly is not what you hoped for, I am confident that you will look back on this someday with pride. Panther pride, filled with the knowledge that you handled yourself with grace and grit and with respect and empathy for others. Panther pride in the fact that you proved yourselves yet again, and Panther pride in the fact that you faced adversity and, as we knew you would, added true meaning to the term BHS Rises.

Please accept my congratulations to all of you!  I look forward to seeing you all at the coming events!

Dr. Charochak,   Superintendent of Schools