10 AM on a Tuesday morning-
Normally, the seniors at Amory High School would be hitting their mid morning lull, checking in from their senior leave, or suffering from a bad case of senioritis. Mrs. Stanford would normally be telling everyone “good morning” in the hallway, Mrs. Smith would be making announcements about fees, and graduation ceremony plans would be in the last stages of finalization. But the hallways were empty, desks were stacked in classrooms, and the lights were off in the main building. Yard signs with senior composite pictures were lined up across the front lawn. The seniors were wrapped around the back of the school, picking up their cap and gown drive-through style. The dedicated staff of AHS handed out the packages to them along with words of encouragement. It was just another example of the unconventional circumstances that the Class of 2020 had to endure.
3:15 PM on a Friday afternoon-
Students poured out of Amory High School, excited for a week of no tests, homework, or stress. Teachers turned off the lights in their classrooms, locked their doors, and headed out of AHS-excited for a break from lesson plans and students. No one knew that returning to learning in the classroom was not in the future for students not only in Mississippi, but across the globe.
6:30 on a Wednesday evening-
Students in Mississippi held their breath as Governor Tate Reeves announced the closure of all schools in the state for the rest of the semester. What was once an extended spring break became a break for the rest of the school year. Spring sports, awards day, honor society inductions-every school activity was cancelled. The Class of 2020 wouldn’t get to have playoffs or championships for the sports they had been dedicated to for the majority of their childhood, their final prom, or a graduation ceremony that they had been looking forward to for the past four years. It was heartbreaking, devastating, and unfair to the seniors of AHS, but safety for everyone was a major concern, and everything came to a standstill at 1006 Sam Haskell Drive.
12:31 on a Tuesday afternoon-
What does the future hold for the Amory High School Class of 2020? Prom has been rescheduled from April 10th to June 16th. There are tentative plans for graduation to be July 30th on Longenecker Field. But dates aren’t the only things that have been altered in these seniors’ lives-because of the unexpected circumstances, they’ve become better people. They’ve grown up and had to face real world problems as new adults in their communities. They’ve had to amp up their work ethic to complete assignments during distance learning and adjust their attitudes to become more accepting of what life throws at them. But most importantly, they’ve learned to bond as a class through difficult situations.
The Amory High School Class of 2020 has gone through unimaginable circumstances for the past few months, but they are coming out as stronger and better young adults because of it.