Shawnee High School graduate and 17-year-old Emily Day said the last semester of her senior year was extremely eye-opening and humbling.
"As a senior who was not able to attend school and participated in distance learning, my experience gave me an entire new perspective," Day said. "It was different to say the least, and sad at times, but I gained so much perspective on what really matters in life and what doesn’t."
The graduate said the biggest hardship she faced this year was not being able to truly end the last year of her high school career.
"The most challenging aspect of this semester has been the lack of closure I have felt," Day said. "As a very sentimental person, it was extremely difficult for me to not experience the lasts I had looked forward to for years as I had envisioned they would happen."
Day said she will always remember how she was able to serve her fellow seniors and worked hard to give them a special ending to their last year.
"I have been working with a small team of seniors and with our superintendent, Dr. April Grace, to make the senior’s end of the year as special as it can be," Day said. "I had the idea to spotlight every senior on the school’s social media, and the faculty made that happen. I started a senior service initiative, using the hashtag #shsseniorservice, to volunteer to pass out meals for the school district. Finding new ways to serve my community and love on people during the hard times is what I will cherish most."
Day said she's thankful and always will be to both Shawnee Public Schools and the community for being so helpful to the class of 2020.
"I have never seen a class go through so much, and I have never seen a community and school district love on a class so well," Day said. "My heart bursts with joy at the thought of all of the loops our administration and teachers have jumped through for us."
In the fall, Day said she will attend Oklahoma Baptist University to major in Vocal Music Education.
"I am very thankful for the influence Justin Lee has had on my life through the choral program at the high school," Day said. "I am a four year vocal All-Stater, and have found my calling through this program. I couldn’t be more thankful for my district’s support of the arts."