Students plan senior tribute


When Kansas closed schools for the remainder of the year because of the coronavirus outbreak, seniors quickly realized that the school would not be able to host prom or graduation. Also realizing this, the district promptly canceled prom and indefinitely postponed graduation. Upon learning about these changes, seniors Salma Chavez and Rianna Henderson began to plan a new way for the class of 2020 to be recognized.
“I wanted to celebrate something special with my classmates and everyone at the school one last time. A lot of adults had been dragging Main for the past couple of weekends. This is when I saw the chance to invite the whole school to participate,” Chavez said.
In the beginning stages of this event, they planned to focus more on prom than graduation. However, an idea posted on a community board transformed it.
“At first, we were going to try to do more of a prom parade type of thing, but then another senior’s mom came up with a simpler idea of celebrating seniors with a post she had made on the Newton Community Support Facebook page. I would describe this event as something more for seniors, but we want everyone to participate in celebrating for them,” Henderson said.
The event is not an official school sponsored event and invites community members and parents to take part. However, because the state is under an extended stay at home order, Chavez and Henderson have been clear that families need to take precautionary measures to ensure community safety.
“If they choose to sit outside, they have to be at least 6 feet from other families. We also said that we advise them to wear a mask while being outside, as well as gloves if they wish,” Henderson said.
The class of 2020 has taken on a unique situation and has had to experience the loss of several senior events. However, Chavez and Henderson were able to channel this loss into action.
“This is important to me because I am afraid to admit I feel like this is the last fun activity I will be participating in while being a senior. Once a Railer, always a Railer,” Chavez said.
The event will be held on April 18 at 7 pm. Participants will meet at Centennial Park in their cars at 6 pm.