On April 9, it was announced that all Missouri schools would remain closed for the remainder of the academic year due to the spread of COVID-19. For Rolla High School seniors, this announcement meant the premature “end of an era”.
“When my mom told me we weren’t going back to school, I’m pretty sure my heart broke,” RHS senior Sarah Young shared. “I think I am most disappointed about missing out on making the last few memories with my friends. We worked hard to get to our last semester, and now we’re missing out on all the fun activities. That’s something we’ll never get back.”
To celebrate and support the class of 2020, the district recently hosted Light Up the Night last Friday night, April 10. A different kind of “Friday Night Lights”, the event honored senior Bulldogs by lighting up the Lion’s Memorial Field, FCNB Baseball Field and the Kiwanis soccer field for a symbolic 20 minutes and 20 seconds. As the procession of seniors and their families drove past, 10th St. was also flanked by the flashing red and blue lights of police cars and first responders.
Plans are currently in the works to postpone the senior’s graduation ceremony and prom until this summer, but regardless, seniors are still missing out on their last few months of classes, activities and senior sports season. This unfortunate situation has been met with an outpouring of support from community members, ranging from “Senior Spotlight” social media posts to the Rolla Athletic Booster Club putting up “Rolla Senior Bulldogs” yard signs at each spring season athlete’s house.
Although these gestures of support do not make up for her days of high school lost, Young was grateful for Light Up the Night, saying “I loved the senior light show. I love our community and all that they do for us. I am truly thankful for their support.”