Thomas Jefferson

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Out with the Old and in with the New

Posted 11/16/2020 by Sara Medina

Seniors Ben Abram and Lauren Reid at the senior movie drive-in. photo courtesy of the yearbook staff

Out With The Old and In With The New

TJ’s seniors are faced with the challenge of trying to come up with new and safe senior activities. 

Traditionally, the graduating class would participate in a series of fun and engaging activities throughout the year. Ranging from tailgates to leading pep rallies to the senior sleepout to senior ditch day, these events are a great way for the senior class to bond before they leave. Similar to how other events in 2020 have resulted, most of these events have been canceled. COVID-19 has affected all the aspects that are a part of the “high school experience,” especially for seniors. “It’s disappointing because this year was supposed to be my big year,” stated senior Halle Payne in regards to the start of her final year of high school being completely remote. With school being online, many students feel isolated, and remote learning is challenging for some.

This pandemic has caused a lot of stress and uncertainty for not only the senior class but for those who organize the senior activities for the school year, one of them being Elizabeth Lynch. Lynch is an AVID teacher, a WES coordinator, and works in special education at TJ. She, along with some seniors, is in charge of creating and setting up senior activities and has been presented with the challenge of deciding which activities to do and how to execute them. When planning activities, she plans for “interest, accessibility, and safety.” Lynch will take the idea, either her own or another senior’s idea, then present it to Mr. Christoff to get his approval. The number one thing she focuses on besides safety for faculty and students is accessibility for all. Lynch’s number one challenge is trying to find a fun activity that others would be interested in. She realizes how tough this has been for multiple students and wants to create something fun and exciting for seniors to enjoy. For example, the drive-in movie that took place in the beginning of the school year was presented to Lynch by a senior in the summertime. Since it was a socially distanced activity and at the time the cases of outbreaks were lower, Mr. Christoff gave the okay. Considering the surge in cases in Colorado, Lynch is positive that no activities will take place until January. 

However, these new traditions are not to be frowned upon. Some seniors and Lynch believe that some of the new activities should be kept for the oncoming senior classes. “I actually really loved that idea! I think implementing that into our traditions would be so great,” exclaimed senior LeiLani Romero

Nonetheless, Lynch and the entire senior class are constantly trying to come up with safe yet fun activities to make the class of 2021’s last year fun. Ideas such as trivia night or pictionary, where seniors pick their groups and play virtually, are just some of the ways Lynch and other seniors are working to make a special year for the class of 2021.. Lynch is always open to suggestions for what she could do in future because many things are up in the air such as prom and graduation. Of course she, like many others, is optimistic about the future and is hopeful that TJ will be able to have a socially distanced event, but until then, virtual movie nights are about as social as the senior class will get.