Columbus comes up with a special way to honor its graduating class of 2020 even though their school year was cut short

Joplin Area Coronavirus

COLUMBUS, Ks. — A Southeast Kansas community has come up with a special way to honor its graduating class of 2020 even though their school year was cut short.

The north end of the football field of Columbus Unified High School looks a little different today.

50 specially made banners are recognizing the CUHS class of 2020.

Take a quick drive on Maple Street in Columbus, and that’s where you’ll find these.

CUHS Senior Alec Damrill is one of many high school seniors across the county finding out his last year of high school would end a lot sooner than he thought.

Alec Damrill, Senior, Columbus High School, said, “Everybody is a little shooken up still, we’re all a little upset still.”

Working through this tough time hasn’t been easy.

“School’s been challenging for us a little bit. But we’re making the best of it, the best we can.”

Aaron Rider, English Teacher, Columbus High School, said, “And it’s a big adjustment for them when it comes to their learning styles, virtually, we’re not able to do all the things we we’re able to do in the classroom.”

But Columbus High School, and its community, is doing its best to acknowledge their seniors with these banners.

Each portrait hangs by the football field so any passerbys can recognize this major milestone for each senior.

“I think these students are going to look back on this and even though it’s a difficult time, they’re going to learn from it and their going to see the positives that come from it.”

Damrill had been looking forward to many things this school year, bringing home a state title for his baseball team, prom, and graduation.

But, he’s grateful to the community for the recognition and is looking forward to the future.

“And this is definitely a mental challenge for me, I think it’s definitely difficult, but I think this will make us stronger and I think it’s going to make us better people in the long run,” said Damrill.

Damrill adds he was looking forward to signing to Labette Community College on a baseball scholarship in front of all of his peers.

However, due to social distancing guidelines, he’ll have to opt for a much smaller gathering.

Another thing — seniors in Columbus will eventually be able to pick up those special banners.

The school district will announce when that’s possible.

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