As high school seniors across the country come to terms with the loss of year-end rituals like going to prom and walking across the stage at graduation, many here in Oklahoma City are keeping a good attitude. Some have reached deeply into their creative recesses to make gatherings happen from a distance. Others take a philosophical approach, appreciating the novelty of these times.
405 Magazine spoke with three local 2020 senior class presidents on their feelings about graduating this year – their year. Here’s what they said.
Samuel Jun is an active senior at Casady School. He swims, and his musical talents extend to the guitar and voice, which are highlighted by his contributions to the school’s a cappella group, musical theater productions and rock band activities. This fall, he will attend the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, with a major in biology.
What traditions and ceremonies will you be missing, and what will you miss most?
This year, events like the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS) Arts Festival, athletic banquets … and several others have been either delayed, canceled or made virtual. One of the events I was the most disappointed to see canceled was the ISAS Arts Festival. It is an opportunity for art students from Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana and Kansas to gather and share their talents and hard work through music, painting, drama, sculpting and so many other mediums.
What are students doing in lieu of hanging out, or going to movies or restaurants?
Some students have taken their cars to empty parking lots to see each other face-to-face (but six feet apart) to enjoy some fun chats and conversations. I’ve personally been on Facetime with my friends quite a bit; we just share how we’re doing and talk about random things.
What would you like to say to the Casady class of 2020?
To Casady’s Class of 2020, I would like to say THANK YOU. I wouldn’t be able to say it enough in my lifetime. It breaks my heart that we won’t have the graduation we all envisioned; however, whatever happens, I know it’ll be the most special and unique graduation in Casady history. That’s something to smile about! Also, I’d like to challenge everyone to try new things, continue improving and don’t be afraid to make someone’s day!
MARY KATE MAGNESS
Senior Class President
Mary Kate Magness is a dog lover and an avid soccer player in the Oklahoma City Energy FC’s Developmental Academy League. She is on student council, is president of the French Club and also is president of the school’s Adopt A Grandparent Club. And, yes, she does have an adopted grandparent named “Wanda.” For the last four years, Mary Kate has spent her summers volunteering at Mercy Hospital. She plans to attend the University of Oklahoma in the fall, majoring in philosophy with an eye toward pre-med, which she comes by honestly: Both of her parents are physicians.
My mom and my brother. My dad will be home in a month. He is currently deployed to Afghanistan.
Is there an upside to any of this? Has COVID-19 built a sense of camaraderie among the class of 2020?
There’s always a silver lining to it. We’ve all been able to spend a little more time with our families, and the class seems more engaged in the few events we will still hold. We have also donated $2,020 to the Food Bank to hopefully bring some relief during all of this.
What would you like to say to the Heritage Hall class of 2020?
In every class, there are a few students who truly excel in various activities. But in the Heritage Hall Class of 2020, every single person is exceptional at something. It is one of the hardest things to actually stand out in this class, and I’m sure most would probably agree. It has been assuredly frustrating at times, yet this standard is what makes me so eager to see what each of us does in the future.
Matt Maloy is drum major for the Mount St. Mary Marching Band and an officer for the National Honor Society. A musician, he plays in the school’s concert band, jazz band and orchestra, as well as the marching band. He also gives his time and talent to the student council and drama department. In addition to all that, Matt holds down a job and volunteers at different summer camps. He received the Presidential Service award for community service. On graduating, Matt will attend the University of Oklahoma Honors Program with a major in architectural engineering.
What was your last day of school like, and are there any opportunities you wish now that you would have had?
Our last day of school was really just like any other. The administration did not even know if we were coming back after spring break, so we were just carrying on as normal. Personally, I wish that I would have known it was the last day, so I could have truly taken in everything that had happened throughout my time there. I guess I just wish I had a real chance to say goodbye to a normal school year.
What have you taken from this year, and how will you remember 2020?
I’d like to believe that we have all found ways to grow together from this experience. There is definitely going to be a special bond for the Class of 2020. But when I say that, I don’t mean just the Class of 2020 at Mount St. Mary’s or the Class of 2020 in Oklahoma City, but the Class of 2020 all over the state and the country. I believe this experience has forced families to come back together and value their time together, but it has also created a new family, full of people from all over.
What would you like to say to the Mount St. Mary class of 2020?
To the Mount St. Mary Class of 2020, I’m sorry that this year was not what we expected. So many things that we had been looking forward to for so long have come and gone, but there are more memories to be made. Our time together will always be cherished and remembered for years to come. Each and every one of you has made an impact in our class and holds a special place in our little family. You all matter and have a purpose, even when times get hard, such as this one. Stay Strong, Seniors.