This is traditionally the season of caps and gowns, Pomp and Circumstance and inspiring speeches, but the ongoing pandemic has upended what’s been the tradition in our local high schools.

It’s unfortunate that graduating seniors have missed out on experiencing special events that typically mark the conclusion of their high school careers. Whether it’s awards night or baccalaureate, prom or an all-night party, those days every spring give graduates a chance to reflect on the past and get excited for the future. In those moments the spotlight is shining on them and they deserve the attention.

Although their senior year won’t really resemble what their older siblings or friends had, the Class of 2020 is still being lauded just in new and unique ways.

School leaders are doing everything they can to recreate something close to traditional commencement ceremonies or they’re creating and coordinating novel ways of recognizing their graduates. Organizations and businesses are doing what they can to show their support whether it’s banners, yard signs or giveaways. Parents, family members and friends are showering seniors with fun gifts with the help of social media and ‘Adopt A Senior’ campaigns.

Hopefully these and other efforts make all our graduates know that this community is thinking of them and supporting them as they strike out on new adventures.

Perhaps this experience—navigating these rites of passage during a pandemic—will give them an advantage for the future. They’ve encountered roadblocks, felt disappointment but persevered, knowing their community is cheering them on.