xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement

North Harford celebrating senior class, agricultural heritage with senior banners on farm equipment along Rt. 165

It’s a different graduation season. No cap and gown toss, no crowds to watch seniors move their tassels across their caps and receive their diplomas. But Harford County is getting creative to find ways to honor seniors and still follow guidelines to keep everyone safe.

In northern Harford, County Councilman Chad Shrodes, a North Harford alum, wanted a way to honor the Class of 2020 while showing the agricultural heritage of the community.

Advertisement

Shrodes contacted some local businesses, property owners along Route 165 and other farmer friends to help with equipment. The plan: place banners, homemade signs and such on hay wagons along the country road the stretches the length of the North Harford High School district. That’s 293 banners stretched for 12 miles.

After some coordinating through a group on a North Harford Facebook page, Saturday morning a group of North Harford High School parents and some students dressed in their Hawks gear met at the school parking lot and sorted the nearly 300 banners by area. Once sorted, the group fanned out to place them along Route 165 from Whiteford to Jarrettsville, placing banners on the wagons at businesses and properties along the road through Hawk country.

Advertisement

North Harford senior Hannah Smith, with the help of dedicated friends, took on the task of getting the banners produced. Unfortunately, the school could not release school photos to Smith as they are considered school property.

“So I took it into my hands to contact every single senior in our class, all 293 of them to get all the photos or permission to use them for the banners,” Smith said, who is the senior editor of the school’s yearbook. "It sucks that we don’t get the senior year that everybody else has before us but it’s something that we’ll adapt to and we’re going to be one of the strongest classes coming out of it.”

Fellow NHHS senior Carly Kurgan worked closely with Smith to organize the project. “Basically Hannah got all 293 senior’s names in four days and one night we actually spent a few hours tracking down those last few before we had to place the order.”

”Hannah always goes above and beyond to help and make sure everything is done,” Kurgan said as she helped sort out banners with a couple of her classmates. “It definitely stunk to have senior year kind of cancelled and not knowing when you’re going to go back. I kept my hope up that we would go back but … It’s nice to know that so many people care, with the parents doing this with the banners and all this.”

Local businesses like Buon Gusto Pizzaria in Whiteford, who gladly placed a wagon in front of their shop, and Atlantic Tractor placed farm equipment near the road to display the banners. Others like Ed Grimmel of Grimmel Farms lent out his fence line along the road in Jarrettsville and some equipment. Still others generously donated in spite of challenging economic times, volunteers contributed time, energy, and special touches to make this happen, said Shrodes.

“I am so proud of how our North Harford community came together to honor our graduating seniors during this unprecedented pandemic,” said Shrodes, who added that even though farmers are in full swing for planting season, they overwhelmingly joined the cause by donating equipment, wagons and locations on their fields. “Our community is Hawk Country proud our North Harford graduates!”

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement