April 8, 2021 by Carol Britton Meyer
The Hingham High School Class of 2021 isn't letting COVID-19 dampen its spirits or enthusiasm!
Senior Class President Cameron Frank has been meeting regularly with the other class officers to come up with COVID 19-friendly ideas for "21 Ways to Celebrate the Class of 2021." She also met with HHS Principal Rick Swanson earlier this year to gain approval for select events.
"Since then, class officers and other students, class advisors Christina O'Connor and Rose Papuga, and parents/guardians have been hard at work planning and soliciting feedback from the entire class and community," Cameron told the Hingham Anchor.
The other class officers are Vice President Bonnie Passios, Secretary Nate Lahrette, and Treasurer Sam Bellomy.
The "21 Ways to Celebrate the Class of 2021" theme was the outcome of those conversations, leading to putting together a list of potential events. "Some of these are just ideas at this stage of the game, and we realize that pretty much everything is subject to change this year," as was the case last year, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
"While some of the events are tentative, we are definitely planning everything and crossing our fingers for the best-case scenario," Cameron said. "The goal is that if we shed some light on the events it might get people motivated to make it all happen!"
Topping the list of "definites" is a Senior Car Parade Saturday, May 15, starting at 9 a.m. at Hingham Middle School and ending at the high school. "This is one of the main events, and we would love the entire community to participate and cheer along the parade route," she explained. "Spectators can get the best view along Main Street."
Other planned activities, with more details to come, include:
- Voter registration -- In coordination with the Hingham League of Women voters, in-person voter registrations for students are planned for Tuesday and Wednesday, April 13 and 14. "We want to exercise our civic right to vote!" Cameron said.
- Memory Walk -- Senior Night will not be happening this year, but the Memory Wall "is alive and well" and will be set up outside HHS.
- “Home of a 2021 HHS Graduate" yard signs have arrived and will be distributed on the last day of school -- Thursday, May 27. "We wish we could do a Ninja-style installment at every home as we did last year, but this activity was not approved by HHS [administrators] this year," according to Cameron.
- Senior Tail Gate -- The class officers are working hard and are hopeful this event can happen on the last day of school.
- A Senior Awards ceremony is scheduled for June 1.
- The big day -- graduation -- is scheduled for Saturday, June 5, at 5 p.m. Guidelines will be announced soon.
- Class officers, advisors, and administrators are working on plans for a field day/barbecue for Friday, May 28.
- Non-Prom Prom -- Class advisors and officers are working on a senior event for Thursday, June 3, to take the place of the usual senior prom.
- Senior Handprints -- The tradition of seniors literally leaving their mark will continue. "There are several dates and additional make-up times to accommodate this activity during this unusual year," Cameron said.
- Lock Fence -- Similar to the Lock Bridge Fence in Paris, HHS administrators have approved the installation of a section of fence to serve as a permanent tribute to the Class of 2021, which lost most of its senior year due to the pandemic. Each graduating student will have the opportunity to personalize a lock and place it on the fence.
- Senior Superlatives have been voted and will be included in the Class of 2021 yearbook.
- Portraits Downtown -- Similar to last year, the Hingham Downtown Association will participate in the displaying of photos of all seniors in the windows of businesses located in the downtown area.
- Caps on the softball fence -- The senior class will install “caps” with the names of all graduates on the softball fence abutting the nearby parking lot, as was done last year.
- Class gift -- "This is something that the class is working on and will be a great surprise!" according to Cameron.
- Futures Feature -- Students are posting their plans for next year on their class Facebook page to celebrate each other and their achievements.
- Class video -- A video is being prepared by HHS seniors Hope Thompson and Benton Perry to serve as a memory wall that seniors can keep forever.
- Class of 2021 graduation masks -- special masks will be available for all students and faculty members who attend graduation.
- Pay It Forward Challenge -- The idea behind this work-in-progress project is for members of the graduating class to perform acts of kindness/community service and then “challenge another senior to do the same.” This activity would move “forward” by posting online and tagging the person being “challenged." In order to ensure that all students feel welcome, this effort would begin with leaders from all the different clubs and teams.
- Back on stage, the turf, and the water -- "Spring sports are a go, and we remain hopeful that student spectators will be allowed," Cameron said. "The HHS Drama club will be back onstage and in-person for a production of “Squirrel Girl Goes to College." Plans are in the works.
- Letters to freshmen -- Seniors will write letters to the freshman class about what makes HHS such an amazing place and what they have to look forward to while attending the high school.
"The Class of 2021 has been very receptive to these proposed activities. Everyone has different comfort levels for living during the pandemic, and we definitely want to be respectful of those," Cameron said. "That said, we haven't been able to celebrate being seniors at all yet this year. With restrictions loosening up and more people getting vaccinated each day, we remain hopeful that we will be able to have some final celebrations this Spring as we say good-bye to HHS."
Parents have been observing what other towns are doing for their senior classes. "The idea for '21 ways to celebrate the class of 2021' came through an out-of-town friend of the mother of one of Cameron's classmates, while class officers, advisors, parents, and classmates, have contributed many ideas to add to the spirit of celebration.
"The goal is to boost class morale, bring the class together, and also hopefully to get the rest of the community involved!" Cameron said.
Go, Class of 2021!