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Education

Their Senior Year Disrupted, Class Of 2020 Students Wait In Limbo For Graduation Decisions

A photo collage of the six students named in the caption.
Courtesy of the respective students and Cindy Meza
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Top line from left to right: Trinity Kirkland, Wyatt Layland, Susy Meza and Jacob Waisanen. Below from left to right: Sheldon Skoboloff and Helena Rowe.

Lee en español.

For thousands of high school seniors across the state, the disappointments arrived in waves. 

First came the cancellation of planned trips. Then after-school activities and sports. And then, on March 15, Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered school closures statewide — a move that seemed inevitable as the deadly coronavirus tightened its grip on the nation and world. But the safety-minded decision brought sadness mixed with understanding for the Class of 2020.

For many, it means no prom, no senior spirit week, no final athletic or musical performance and, perhaps, no graduation ceremony. 

“It’s a crazy time we are in right now,” said Helena Rowe, a senior at Reno High School “It was all a series of events and it felt surreal, like I was living in a movie.”

The march toward the end of the school year usually brings a longer to-do list, especially for seniors, who are finishing classes and tests, making college or career decisions, squaring away final graduation details and savoring those milestone moments with their classmates. When the pandemic brought normal life to a screeching halt, it threw some students for a loop.

“I guess I was excited that I wouldn’t have to wake up every morning at 6 a.m.,” said Americus Meisinger, a senior at Del Sol Academy of the Performing Arts. “But at the same time, it was like, ‘Now that schools are closed, what are we going to do?’”

Meisinger, an organized person by nature, started a “quarantine journal” documenting her attempts to stay busy. She’s also been reading more and doing art projects. 

Everett Hume, a senior at Palo Verde High School, started taking more hikes. Violetta Rivas-Aragon, a senior at Bonanza High School, baked dozens of cookies. Jacob Waisanen, a senior at Reno High School, unearthed his long-neglected Nintendo Wii system. Christian Esconde, a senior at Rancho High School, folded origami creations between FaceTime chats with friends. And Sarah Timpa, a senior at Del Sol Academy of the Performing Arts, opted to keep working as a Starbucks barista.

Visit The Nevada Independent for the complete story.

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