The list of traditional activities that Baker High School seniors have lost over the past 15 months makes for a depressing litany.
Homecoming. Prom. Sports and many other extracurricular activities. Dozens of days in their classrooms with their classmates and teachers.
The Class of 2020 had a normal senior year until just before spring break in March 2020. But for the final three months of their last year at BHS, nothing was normal. No in-person classes. No sports. No traditional graduation ceremony at Baker Bulldog Memorial Stadium.
The Class of 2021 endured upheaval from the start. They had online classes for the first two months of the school year. Then they attended in-person classes for one day for several weeks, then two days until late January. Not until April 12 did seniors (along with other high school and middle school students) return to a regular four-day week of in-person classes.
The Class of 2021 has had a full slate of sports, but an ersatz version, with shortened seasons and no officially sanctioned playoffs and state tournaments.
This year’s graduates will have something closer to a normal graduation than their counterparts did a year ago. Commencement will happen in the stadium, although attendance will be limited.
Deprived of the usual ceremony last year, the Class of 2020, after accepting their diplomas in a drive-thru format, drove along 10th, Broadway and Main streets, parade-style, while well-wishers braved rain showers and cool temperatures to wave and applaud from the sidewalks. It was a fine tribute.
This year’s vehicle procession isn’t part of the official school schedule, but the senior class is inviting people to gather along Broadway and Main streets at noon on Sunday, June 6, prior to graduation. The route will start at 10th and Broadway, proceed east on Broadway to Main, then south to finish at Auburn Avenue.
Let’s show the seniors, as we did a year ago, that we honor their achievements, even if we can’t all do so in the traditional way. (And it’s not going to rain, either.)
— Jayson Jacoby, Baker City Herald editor