On Saturday, Aug. 29, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School set up a senior crowning ceremony and photo opportunity, as a replacement for the usual crowning that takes place during the spring of each class’ junior year. The event took place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the entrance of the main parking lot at MSD. Students and staff were expected to adhere to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines of social distancing and mask usage.
The event was organized by Danielle Driscoll, the Leadership and Student Government teacher at MSD. Driscoll and the rest of the administration who set up the crowning created a stage and backdrop for students to take the photos in front of. Additionally, crowns were distributed to students who had not made one of their own.
“Only one student was permitted to access the stage at once and everyone had to wear a mask and keep the mask on the entire time,” MSD Principal Michelle Kefford said. “We also had hand sanitizer available for every student. If more than one group arrived at the same time, the groups were separated by about 30 feet.”
It was strictly enforced that participants had to follow the CDC guidelines, which disappointed some of the seniors who could not experience the normal crowning. However, the class of 2021 still made the best of the situation.
“I was a bit upset that we did not get a regular crowning because it is usually a big deal at school; and in the past years I have always taken pictures with my friends from other grades and that was not really a part of the setup this year,” senior Ally Reichard said. “Overall, I think that the school made the best out of our current situation and I am happy that I went.”
The seniors may not have attended what they thought was going to be a normal senior crowning, but over 200 students did make an appearance. Since the ceremony was all-day long, the amount of people there were sporadic. The overall goal was to make sure the students did not feel unsafe with a large group of people.
“A small group of my friends and I went to the event and made our own crowns. It was nice that we could have an event like this that made us really feel like seniors,” senior Josh Buchwald said.
Even though wearing masks and distancing was mandatory, it gave students a chance to socialize and see classmates that they have not seen since last school year.
“The pictures ended up looking great, and I hope every other senior got to take a picture with their crown,” Reichard said.
With the COVID-19 pandemic canceling many important events for seniors, MSD still managed to celebrate seniors for their final year of high school. Even though this year may be unusual and different from past years, students were given the opportunity to have some sort of senior experience in-person.