Hanover seniors hopeful for ‘semi-normal’ freshman year in college

Hanover seniors hopeful for ‘semi-normal’ freshman year in college
Lee Davis High School senior Adair Keener is set to attend West Virginia University on a dance scholarship in the fall. (Source: NBC12)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Hanover County Public Schools is making sure its graduates are honored in every way possible, with three different kinds of commencement ceremonies. Seniors from Hanover tell NBC12 even though it’s been crushing to miss out on some of the highlights of their senior year of high school, they’re grateful for what lies ahead- and what they’ve learned through these unpredictable times.

Hanover County Public Schools has made sure to keep in close contact with students virtually, as a new world of high school emerged just months ago. Encouraging memes are posted daily across HCPS’s public schools Facebook pages. Students say they get help from teachers during video chat meetings.

One Facebook video shows Patrick Henry High School’s Principal Chris Martinez showing off his Toosie Slide during Senior Spirit Week.

Lee Davis High School Principal Charles Stevens sent a motivational message, as seniors realized they wouldn’t be returning for the rest of the year.

“Good morning Lee Davis,” said Stevens. “Oh, how I have missed saying that to you every morning… I know this will be challenging, but we can do this. It’s just the season that we’re in right now, and we’ll persevere together.”

Seniors from across the county have persevered and excelled, as many announced on “Decision Day 2020” where they will be headed for their freshman year of college, even though the logistics of how universities will conduct classes is still being hashed out.

Lee Davis High School senior Adair Keener earned a dance scholarship to West Virginia University. Since being “stuck” at home, she’s been practicing via zoom classes in the dining room.

“It’s been weird during this time because obviously I haven’t been able to go to the studio like I was in the past,” said Adair. “So I’ve been having to dance at home, which is definitely a challenge and something to get used to.”

Hanover High senior Adam Kelly earned a scholarship for Hampden Sydney College after winning a PTA sponsored essay contest.

“(My essay) was called ‘How do we stay together when we’re so far apart?’” said Adam. “The coronavirus is a huge part of everyone’s lives right now.”

Adair and Adam can commemorate their achievement in three different graduation ceremonies. HCPS is offering an individual ceremony where seniors accept a diploma across the stage, with five family members present. There will be a virtual graduation, and a tentative in-person commencement at Meadow Event Park in August, if it’s deemed safe.

Meantime, Hanover seniors are looking forward to college in the fall, but still wondering what that may look like.

“Hopefully, fingers crossed, we’ll get to go (to college in person) in the fall,” said Adair. “But if not, that would definitely impact me and everyone else… But I know it will be better once everything gets back to semi-normal, hopefully.”

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