Class of 2020 has been phenomenal

Published 10:00 am Friday, May 29, 2020

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Well Class of 2020, this year has been anything but normal. With the unexpected school closure, your year was cut short and many events that you looked forward to as a senior were canceled.

Patti R. Branch

I know this is not the way things were supposed to play out, but what I want you to remember from this pandemic is not only did you get through it; you grew through it. I watched from week to week as we figured out how to make distance learning work, while you all were trying to figure out how to make this new life work. What I observed is that you were not only working hard to finish up your high school and college classes; many of you took on new roles at home. I saw you step up and get jobs to assist with your family, take care of younger siblings at home, and for many of you assist your younger siblings with home schooling and helping them stay academically engaged. These are not easy things to do and yet you all embraced it and thrived. I saw authentic learning taking place through Zoom classrooms, Instagram, and even on TikTok. The resiliency that you have demonstrated is a characteristic that will prove useful throughout your life. 

If I could give you a piece of advice for the future, it would be to never forget where you came from. As I look at the colleges you all were accepted to, the military paths that some of you have chosen, and the careers that some of you aspire, it is logical to realize that life may lead you away from Buckingham County. Wherever that place may be, please remember the way that this community has supported you and the things they have done to make you feel special during this time.

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From the yard signs and T-shirts to the entire town decorating for the Senior Drive-Thru, the support and love that Buckingham County has shown the Class of 2020 has been phenomenal. As you move to a new community, get involved, support schools and civic organizations and always strive to make a difference. From the first senior class meeting we had in August I challenged you with four “Rs”. Three were from our former principal, Mr. Roethel, and they were respect, responsibility, and rigor. The fourth “R” that I challenged you with was relationships. As you move on in life, many of your parents and extended family will reside in the county. Don’t forget them. They have played a vital role in supporting you and your academic success. Work hard to maintain those relationships with your family. They have been your biggest fans for last 13 years.

I wish to thank you for helping me navigate my first year as your high school principal. I appreciate all the time the senior class officers put into planning many events such as the senior breakfast, senior trip, T-shirts, and the list could go on. To all the clubs both extra-curricular and co-curricular, thank you for all the extras that you did to make this school year memorable. It’s the pep-rallies, holiday parties, and homecoming dances that you will still be talking about 20 years from now. Graduates, I appreciate the kindness and respect that you have always shown me, and I can’t wait to see all the great things that you will go on to accomplish. Congratulations Class of 2020!

Patti R. Branch


Buckingham County High School