WESTFIELD – As senior week approaches, Westfield High School parents and staff are working on plans to celebrate the graduating class, and are seeking photos of seniors from infancy to high school activities by this Friday, May 15.
Guidance Counselor Merylina S. Asselin, Class of 2020 co-Advisor along with Kristin Puleo, said several initiatives are underway that need pictures right away.
Asselin said part of the traditional Senior Banquet on June 2 is a slideshow of baby pictures put together every year by a parent committee. Seniors would guess whose pictures they were, and the one who guessed the most correctly would get a prize.
This year, the parents decided they still wanted to create the video to show at a later date, and parent Patti Conroy volunteered to put it together. Baby photos of seniors are due May 15, and may be emailed to [email protected],
Conroy has also volunteered to create the senior video, usually put together by students at the school to show at the graduation assembly. Asselin said since there was not much feedback from the students on doing one this year, Conroy reached out to parents for candid shots of their students in school activities, including band, clubs, sports or just groups of friends at school. The deadline for these photos was also extended to Friday at [email protected].
Asselin said she is supporting another parent initiative on Facebook called “Adopt a WHS Bomber Senior.” “Parent volunteer Shari Jarrell has done an amazing job in creating and organizing this fun way to honor our seniors,” Asselin wrote in an email to families about the Facebook project.
In this one, parents are being asked to join the private group and create a profile for their seniors. Then other families and friends may “adopt” one senior to shower with a small gift or gifts to show them “everyone is thinking about them during this very strange time,” according to the post description.
Asselin said participation is voluntary in this ongoing activity, and anyone who is not on Facebook but would like to participate may contact her. As of Thursday, more than 400 people had joined the group. There are 320 seniors in the WHS Class of 2020.
English Language Arts teacher Kristen Biancuzzo has also reached out to seniors and their families, asking them if they had to write a graduation speech, what would they say? Parents are also encouraged to write a letter to their seniors for the project. Asselin said Biancuzzo is hoping to compile submissions onto a public forum, and share them with the seniors.
Asselin said the guidance department also created the “College Reveal” video on May 1, something they do every year to celebrate the seniors and their future plans. The video is posted on the Westfield MA HIgh School Facebook page and on YouTube under WHS College and Career Reveal 2020.
Asselin said the department has been actively reaching out by phone, email and zoom to seniors and families. “We’re doing the best we can,” she said, adding that they are looking forward to July 31 when “hopefully, we can have a graduation.”