New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | June 1, 2020

Positive signs: New Kent High School staff journeys out to recognize Class of 2020

By Robb Johnson | April 30, 2020 6:48 pm
Christian Martinez (left) and Nekhita Massey (right) are two of more than 200 members of New Kent High School’s Class of 2020 to receive signs recognizing their achievements.

Christian Martinez (left) and Nekhita Massey (right) are two of more than 200 members of New Kent High School’s Class of 2020 to receive signs recognizing their achievements.

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on many organizations and businesses. Probably at the top of list of impacted groups is the graduating seniors from high schools across the country. And while social distancing has ended spring activities as well as face-to-face interactions for many, New Kent High School staff and volunteers wanted to make sure members of the Class of 2020 would not be forgotten.

New Kent High School Senior Class sponsor LeeAnn Chisenhall organized an outreach to thank more than 200 graduating seniors from the Class of 2020 by placing signs in each one of the students’ yards. The movement was inspired as the social studies teacher wanted to keep the positivity flowing for the outgoing class.

“As the head Senior class sponsor, I was racking my brain to come up with something we could do for the Seniors,” Chisenhall said. “I saw a lot of social media posts about things other schools were doing and tried to come up with something I thought we could accomplish.

“One of my friends mentioned that their school was still doing yard signs, which was apparently a usual fundraiser,” she continued. “I thought yard signs. I can do that!”

Chisenhall spent three weeks putting together a plan to get signs to recognize the senior class. From getting quotes on cost to having correct addresses, she knew it would take more than one person to help get the job done.

“Getting volunteers to participate in the delivery and finally organizing delivery day in a way that maintained social distancing and ensured everyone’s safety was key,” Chisenhall added.

To the surprise of the senior class sponsor, approximately 60 volunteers and staff members joined in with Chisenhall on delivery day.

“I had hoped to get 10-15 volunteers, but I’d just like to say that almost every member of our faculty participated in delivery,” she commented, mentioning how students live all over New Kent County. “Delivering to a county with lots of back roads were daunting, but no one gave those challenges a second thought.

“All they cared about was being able to do something for their students,” Chisenhall said as she wrapped up the interview. “It was a beautiful sight to see a long line of cars on delivery day.”

While social distancing continues to hinder face-to-face interaction, #NewKentStrong continues to be a moniker that not only the school system lives by, but the county as well.