A parade like no other for South Central Class of 2020 on Wednesday (at 20:20)

All lined up and ready to go …

Column and photos by Mike Kellems
     If you were around the area of South Central High School Wednesday night, you would most certainly have asked yourself, “what is going on?”
     In a first for the school, during a very non-traditional school year, dozens and dozens of the Satellite Class of 2020 gathered by their cars in the school parking lot while hundreds and hundreds of friends, family and classmates lined up on the county road and had a good old fashioned parade to honor the graduating class.

Principal Anderson grabs a selfie with some of the seniors.

     The unique parade was the brainchild of Ben Anderson, the high school principal, who told WNLP “Initially I was skeptical of the turnout we would have; however I quickly realized based on the support we’ve seen in the past that we would again enjoy a strong turnout. However, this truly blew me away.
     “As he helped to direct traffic into the lot, Nick Mills, our assistant principal, estimated that there were roughly 500 cars. Our administrative team, including Superintendent Dr. Theodore Stevens, was present tonight and I have to say we were all very moved by the tremendous amount of support from this wonderful community; they knocked it out of the ballpark tonight! I’m so incredibly proud of the Satellite community tonight,” Anderson said.
     The parade stepped off at 8:20 p.m. which is, in military time, “20:20.” Decorated vehicles began lining up in the school parking lot at 7 p.m. and in addition to the parking lot being maxed out, the line of vehicles stretched north and south along “school road” from CR-900 South to CR-1000 South.

The tiny white dots in the top of the photo and just below the skyline are cars lined up on “school road.”

      Several fire trucks from Noble and Hanna Townships kicked off the parade with bright lights flashing and sirens wailing. The entire parade of vehicle lasted nearly one hour. As for the soon-to-be graduates, they soaked up the attention, waved and shouted their appreciation as their admirers passed in review. Many seniors had balloons and homemade signs while several stood with parents, who, truth be told, deserve a little of the glory themselves for shepherding their children through 12 years of schooling.
     If you’ll permit me a moment to wax nostalgic… what went on at South Central tonight was nothing short of spectacular.

Joyful soon-to-be graduates with signs to show where their future will take them.

     This pandemic has put us all in uncharted territory. Lives everywhere have been disrupted, put on hold, turned upside down. Not having a traditional graduation for many — not all, but many — is nothing short of heartbreaking. Schools are the patchwork that make up the quilts of our community. Regardless of the number graduating or whether you are from a 1A or a 5A school, so much of family life in America revolves around school. Superintendents, principals, teachers and staff have been really thinking outside the box due to our national dilemma and like Principal Anderson, they should all be commended.
     Tonight, however, a gigantic “tip o’ the hat” goes to the community surrounding the school. Tonight the citizens stepped up. The quilt that is the community wrapped around the senior class. They gave the graduates what they so rightly deserve: a memory that will be talked about and bragged about and cherished for decades to come.

A sign of the times: on US 6 and State Road 39

 

Bryce Emerick shows off a sign and a proud smile.

8 Responses to “A parade like no other for South Central Class of 2020 on Wednesday (at 20:20)”

  1. The Independent

    May 21. 2020

    Crazy times these days. It looks like freedom !!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Rosie Emerick

    May 21. 2020

    The South Central Community really stepped up to show this amazing group of Seniors that they were not forgotten during this stressful last few months. They may have missed their final sports seasons , their senior Proms and all the other special senior year festivities…but the community came together to show them how proud they were of all of them.GO SATELLITES!!

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  3. Misti Putz

    May 21. 2020

    I’m a Proud Parent of a senior graduating this 2020 from South Central High School..Last Night was AMAZING..Thank you Mr Ben Anderson and staff.. The Satellites and their families are so Proud of everything you do for us..All seniors and their families will truly miss u..

    Reply to this comment
  4. Barb smith

    May 21. 2020

    Congratulations class of 2020! And to all that make up South Central school and the community! The kids that go to SC are truly blessed ! It’s a wonderful school and the staff are awesome!

    Reply to this comment
  5. Angie Carr

    May 21. 2020

    Another huge accomplishment the SC class is pioneering is called Class of 2020 EMERGE. This class has made it a mission to unite EVERY senior of 2020 in a common community to represent lasting change and a legacy like no other. The vision is to equip every young adult with a passion to succeed in life no matter what circumstances surround them. To not let negativity and bad situations reflect who they are or determine their future. Although the national support through adopt a senior groups have been amazing and shows true compassion, we want to be the class that offers a gift that can last a lifetime through future generations. Through a website still in creation the entire Senior class will be able to create content and influence they never had. The websites basis will focus around young adults finding their passions and being able to apply those to career paths that best suit their purpose. There’s nothing worse than asking a 17 or 18 year old to choose a career now that they want to do for the rest of their lives without more personal insight into who they are. This could be why the self help industry for 30 to 40 year old adults is booming. Why wait, if we can steer them in the right direction now. On the website they can complete a career assessment which allows them to see what skills and interests are most prevalent for them. Then they can explore a plethora of Career professionals we interview with real life insight to careers they want to know more about. If young adults have true passion for their career path we believe we change a generation from being mediocre to incredible. This is a true win for America’s future. And it just might start in a little community and school called South Central.

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  6. Cindy

    May 21. 2020

    It was such an awesome sight to see the lines of cars waiting to go! I was in tears seeing it! I love our community and our school! Thanks Ben Anderson for putting this together! You’re the best!

    Reply to this comment
  7. Linda Risner Cromey

    May 22. 2020

    So proud of all of them. The support we showed these kids was better than sitting in a gymnasium. This is a fantastic memory for them, we love all of you. Best wishes to all of them.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Peyton rigsby grandma Karon

    May 22. 2020

    PROUD OF EVERYONE INVOLVED. THIS WILL BE A GRADUATION LIKE NO OTHER.

    CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE SENIORS 2020. JOB WELL DONE

    Reply to this comment

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