The Bexley community came together to make sure that the Bexley High School Class of 2020 was honored and celebrated despite the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Time honored traditions were given a new look, and new recognitions, including congratulatory yard signs and street pole banners, were created for the 177 graduates whose senior year ended in a way that they could have ever imagined.
Following a drive up cap and gown pick up, each graduating senior arrived at the high school with their parents on Friday May 15 and Saturday May 16 at a scheduled time to walk across the stage of the Schottenstein Theatre and receive his or her diploma. Each graduate was videotaped and those videos were compiled to be shown on Sunday, May 24 as part of Bexley’s first ever virtual graduation ceremony.
On Monday May 18, a virtual Senior Awards Assembly was held that included the presentation of 24 scholarships to 39 seniors, 14 athletic awards to 27 seniors, the recognition of 10 seniors who received National Merit Awards, the presentation of the Lieutenant Slavik Zilberman Armed Forces Award and the awarding of the Bexley High School Departmental Awards/cups to 20 seniors. Thanks to the generosity of alumni who have established endowed scholarship funds, and those who gave to the Alumni Endowment Fund, $14,000 in scholarships were awarded, including the Carlton Smith Memorial Scholarships and the William E.L. Young Memorial Service Award. Thanks to donors to the Lions’ Pride Alumni Fund, each senior who received a departmental award/cup received a check for $250.
A “reverse parade” on the morning of May 24 organized by the High School PTO served as a culmination of the efforts to honor seniors. Class members stood safely distanced apart along Drexel Ave. while the Bexley community and high school teachers headed north from Main to Broad on bikes and in cars to wave and congratulate these bright and resilient students. Many of the students chose to wear their new Bexley Alumni t-shirts. Following the parade, the virtual graduation assembly was shown at 4:00pm. Parade photos can be viewed here.
The 98th annual commencement ceremony included a welcome from Student Council president, Joanna Howson, remarks by Bexley City Schools Superintendent, Dr. Kimberly P. Miller, speeches by seniors, Jordan Herman and Julia Drieling and commencement speaker, Dan Carroll, Class of ‘05, a recording of the High School Vocal Ensemble singing The Road Home and the Alma Mater and well wishes from some very recognizable alumni including R.L. Stine, Josh Radnor and Daniel Pink. Principal Kristin Robbins concluded the ceremony reading messages from Ben Zox, President of the Class of ‘55, who encouraged the class to devote quality time doing GOOD by helping others and Mabel Gilbert Freeman, Class ‘62, who encouraged students to go out and learn about the world beyond Bexley.
Our thanks go to all BHS alumni donors and friends who played a role in making this year’s senior class feel so special, including all of those who sent written and video messages of encouragement that we shared with the class. Thank you!
Click here to view the videos of the virtual Senior Awards Assembly – Scholarships and Awards, Department Awards, Athletic Awards – and the Graduation Ceremony on the Bexley City Schools Youtube channel.