The graduating class of 2020 is having a school year unlike any other in recent times. That is to say that they aren’t having much of a school year at all. After schools have shut down to to the coronavirus, the idea of a mass gathering for graduations is now entirely out of the question.
Some may say that graduating high school isn’t that big of a deal. That it isn’t such a huge accomplishment since the educational requirements are the bare minimum. That isn’t why we celebrate though. We celebrate the fact that these students are entering the next phase of their lives.
Without a graduation ceremony, or the ability to see your friends, it can feel like that next phase isn’t happening at all. These graduating teens need all the support they can get to remind them that life will be normal again. That’s why these bus drivers in Ohio planned a special little tribute.
The coronavirus may have derailed traditional graduations for the class of 2020, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate. That’s how the bus drivers at Loveland City School District in Ohio felt when they decided to give a little special tribute to the over 390 graduating seniors who will be making their way into the real world.
The video of their tribune went viral last week for the amount of effort and creativity that went into it. The bus drivers positioned their fleet of 22 buses to spell out “2020” when seen from high in the sky. The planning and driving expertise must have been incredibly meticulous. Other fun ideas have been done to celebrate the class of 2020, like wave parades and drive-thru diploma ceremonies. While these don’t substitute the real thing - a traditional graduation - the sentiment is sure to warm the hearts of all grads.
The main organizer of the tribute was Lisa Moorhead, a bus driver for the past 23 years. She may be an experienced bus driver, but it was no easy feat. According to her, it took three and a half hours to position the buses, using seven drivers to position the buses. You may be wondering how they knew if they got it right since the only way you can see it is from above. For that they used the help of an art teacher who flew a drone to look at the buses from above.
Luckily they got it wrong. Lisa Moorhead explained how it looked to them on the ground, as well as their elation when they saw what their hard work ended up looking like. “To us down on the ground, it looked like a maze. When Jim Barrett … took (the drone) up, there were tears and screams. We were so excited we'd done it."
The parents of all the students were incredibly happy about the tribute, however, for Moorhead and her team, it was the kids who drove them to do it. "We didn’t have our last days with any of the kids in district. We thought (school closing) was going to be three weeks, but it turned out to be the rest of the year. As bus drivers, we bond with our kids. We’re the first ones they see in the morning and the last ones before they go home."
A gesture like this is going to reverberate across the country as other students from different districts take it as a sign of hope and love. One participating bus driver had a lovely statement to say on why she chose to participate: "Some of us have been around long enough to transport these kids since kindergarten, and some of us have only been working with the district for a few years, but the one thing we all have in common is the love for our students. This is a huge accomplishment and anyway we can show them some love, we will do it. So here's to the Class of 2020. Your bus drivers are proud of all of you."