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Celebrating the Unforgettable Class of 2020

Exterior photo of Firestone Hall at dusk

Despite heavy rain that threatened the event all day, the skies cleared up just before the evening's pageantries began and the sun shone brightly down on our guests of honor and their families. It was a fitting sendoff for our resilient and determined graduates who left campus prepared to go farther in high school, college and beyond because of their time at OTS.

The ceremony was a memorable scene for a number of reasons. As families arrived, Old Trail faculty and staff lined the parking lot to cheer on our graduates as they paraded through to their assigned parking spaces. It was an abundant display of affection and appreciation for a courageous group of young adults who had weathered so much. Families then watched the ceremony from their vehicles and celebrated with a chorus of car honking as each student was called up to receive his or her diploma. Photo gallery

There was much to celebrate. Despite multiple setbacks—from canceled class trips (both domestic and abroad) to canceled traditions (Spring Fling, the spring musical, Cedar Point, etc.) to the closing of campus for the final three months of school—each time the Class of 2020 recentered, reengaged and creatively reimagined ways to make
life better for their classmates and others.

Middle School Director David Chottiner summed up the collective group’s resolve this way during the ceremony:  

“You’ve enriched your communities by feeding health care workers, you've taken charge of Student Council events and suggested ideas and plans for the entire school. You continued Trail to Service with a Virtual Walk-A-Thon, you've made face masks for our entire OTS faculty and staff. You've been remarkably present in your classes, approaching them with sincerity and seriousness from that first day. You staged a Zoom musical! You've even begged for extra Spanish lessons! Not once have I heard you say, ‘Why us? Why now? Who cares?’ Not once. In my wildest dreams, I could not have asked for an eighth grade class to manage this upheaval with such grace, positivity and determination.”

The world will forever remember the year of 2020. At Old Trail, we will never forget the unwavering spirit of the Class of 2020. Head of School Sarah Johnston closed her remarks this way: 

The spirit of your class has nothing to do with what is happening in the world. Rather, it has everything to do with your personality, talents, humor and uniqueness. You leave today different than when you started at Old Trail. You leave with a stronger sense of self, resilience, knowledge and deeper relationships with each other. As you go forth into your next chapter, remember you will always be in our hearts and will be our treasured class of 2020.