Poplar Springs celebrates class of 2020

(WTVY News 4)
Published: Apr. 14, 2020 at 3:26 PM CDT
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The Coronavirus pandemic has shut down schools across the state of Alabama. But in Florida, there's a chance classes may go back into session.

As you drive into Poplar Springs High School it may seem a little different that's because the 30 seniors now have their portraits posted as one final goodbye they may never get.

For a majority of the Poplar Springs senior class, they have been together from kindergarten to senior year.

"They've been the highlight of my school years here. It feel like were such a huge family, I've known every one hear most of my whole life and I appreciate them so much. Usually the same people come to the games and support us and I love being at a small school like this," senior, Emily Gilmore said.

But with talk of schools in Florida not going back into session.....

"It's really heartbreaking to me because you dream of the day as your child grows up you get to see them graduate and walk across the stage and get handed their diploma but this is reality right now and we just have to make the best of every situation we are put in," senior, Lydia Dixon said.

That's when their principal decided to do something special, creating a memory that would replace the ones they didn't get to make.

"Instead of remembering I didn't get the end to my senior year I wanted, they'll remember my picture was right there and my grandma saw it, and my dad saw it, and my mom saw it. I got my picture made by my banner and they'll bring back a smile to their face instead of an empty spot," Farica West, principal of Poplar Springs said.

The senior portraits were hung outside, as you drive into the school. A way to say "together we stand" no matter the circumstance.

"Wonderful, it's very unique. A lot of principals have been doing things for their students and it's a really nice gesture. I mean I don't think she could've done it any more perfect, it's a wonderful idea and very thoughtful," senior, Peyton Brannan said.

For one Poplar Springs alumna who just celebrated her 50th year class reunion, this is her message to the class of 2020.

"We laughed and cried and talked about all of our memories and I don't remember a single memory about the graduation itself. It was all those memories that we had from 1st grade through 12th grade. So I would like to say to the seniors, COVID-19 can't take that away from them, those memories will be there for a lifetime," Shirley Owens, school board member for Holmes County said.

Holmes County students are set to go back to school May 1st.

If school is cancelled for the rest of the year, the principal of Poplar Springs said they would find another way to make up graduation.