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Glenwood/Glenelg/Dayton: This year’s send-offs for Howard County seniors may not be ideal, but they will be memorable

Glenwood High School celebrates the Class of 2020. Lori Jaap, GHS Boosters Club president, Carole Murray, Debbie O’Byrne and Bose Beecroft Abu, GHS PTSA president, get ready to deliver the signs.
Glenwood High School celebrates the Class of 2020. Lori Jaap, GHS Boosters Club president, Carole Murray, Debbie O’Byrne and Bose Beecroft Abu, GHS PTSA president, get ready to deliver the signs. (Courtesy photo / HANDOUT)

You may have noticed the signs congratulating the senior Class of 2020 as you drive around our neighborhood. The Glenelg High School Parent Teacher Student Association and the Glenelg High School Boosters Club coordinated the distribution of more than 300 yard signs to each of the members of the Glenelg Senior Class.

More than 50 volunteers, led by Boosters Club President Lori Jaap and PTSA President Bose Abu, along with Debbie O’Byrne and Carole Murray, placed signs in the front yard of every member of the class. Thanks to Principal David Burton, Assistant Principal Patrick Crouse, Athletics Director Dan Sageman and staff members Butch Shaffer, Raymond Gerstner and his family, John Ballantine and Josh Mize and his family, who all enthusiastically helped with the placing of the signs. The Glenelg Community is great.

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When you drive past Glenelg High School, you can see banners hanging on the fences by the tennis courts that recognize the seniors. There are also signs to honor the seniors from each of the county high schools in front of the Howard County Public School System Central Office on Route 108.

Graduation this year, along with almost everything else, will be an online event. For Glenelg, the date is Tuesday, June 9. Each student’s name will be read while a short video of the student plays. Pre-recorded speeches by students and student performances, as well as speeches by county officials, awarding of diplomas and the turning of the tassels will all take place during the ceremony.

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In order to prepare for graduation, the high school coordinated an incredible drive-through pick-up and drop-off operation. Students picked up their red cap and gown for graduation. They dropped off any text books, library books, sports and music equipment they had at home when school was closed in March. Students also picked up any items they had left at school at that time. Finally, they dressed in their cap and gown and recorded the short video that will be played at the graduation. It was an amazingly detailed operation that went quite smoothly thanks to the hard work of the Glenelg staff and volunteers who spent a long day directing traffic and cheering on the students.

The seniors and their parents are attempting to make the best of a bad situation. Several car parades have been organized to give seniors their chance to shine in the spotlight. One caravan proceeded from Glenelg High School to the Western Regional Park. Another one wound through a neighborhood in Lisbon. Cars were decorated with signs, tassels, balloons and pom-poms, and everyone wore their spirit wear while people living along the routes came out to cheer.

This senior year isn’t one that anyone wanted, but it will be one that no one will ever forget.

The local schools have been organizing food drives to benefit families in need in the Homewood school community. The first drive netted enough to meet the grocery needs of all the families for the month of May. The Clarksville Chick-fil-A added to the donation with meals and drinks for each of the families. The food drives will continue, with hopes for providing food for the month of June. We live in a very generous and caring neighborhood.

If you have a child who will be attending kindergarten in the fall, registration has been hampered by the closings. You can begin the process at the Howard County Public School System website. Go to hcpss.org for more information.

The band students at Dayton Oaks Elementary School have been keeping up with their practicing and making band director Amy Syversen very proud. Several of her fifth-grade students recorded themselves performing music the band would have performed in a normal year.

Lucas Ballou, a percussionist, played “The Star-Spangled Banner” on the bells in honor of the simulated congressional hearings, which did not take place this year. Josef Finn played the “Spiderman Theme” on his trumpet, while dressed in a Spider-Man mask. This was part of the Canvas Star Wars and Spider-Man combo lessons the students have been working on from home.

Harley Rosen played “Let’s Go Band” on her bass clarinet. Dayton Oaks Bands typically end each final fifth-grade concert with a performance of “Let’s Go Band” to send the fifth graders on their way to middle school. Harley was performing the concert finale that the students won’t be able to perform this year for an audience.

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