By David Fleet
Goodrich- The Martians seniors will graduate.
On April 2 Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered all K-12 schools to remain closed throughout the academic year to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus. Statewide, the order shuttered school campuses and sent about 1.5 million students home for about 30 percent of the academic year.
Despite the abrupt closure at 7 p.m., June 18 about 186 Goodrich seniors are expected to receive a diploma at the Roy U. Stacey Athletic Complex. A rain date is set for 1 p.m., June 21.
“The graduation plans are very fluid right now,” said Mike Baszler, high school principal. “We are optimistic and we can do this. It’s likely to be very restrictive and be assured we will follow the governor’s executive orders to keep all safe. So much of the senior’s journey was altered near the end of the school year and it’s hard to provide a clear picture of the future. The students want to see their teachers and be together one last time—they are adapting to the changing world and we are on a path to honor our seniors.”
One of those seniors is Haden Gross who last March had just landed a part in the GHS spring school play “Working.”
“It was just one week before the play opened,” said Gross, 18. “At first it was unclear if we were coming back school. We actually thought maybe it was just for a week or two. Then we learned the school year was over—it was like a science fiction movie.”
Haden, the daughter of Melissa and Mike Gross of Atlas Township will study English at Alma College this fall and pursue a teaching career. At the time school was cancelled for the remainder of the year Haden had two classes at the high school along with online classes at Mott Community College.
“Completing my classes was a little confusing at first but I still ended up with a 4.0,” she said. “You know, sometimes things in life do not end the way we think they should. But everything happens for reason.”
There was no prom, no spring break and other senior activities were cancelled, added Haden.
“The class of 2020 is not a weak class,” she said. “I spent the last 12 years of my life with my classmates and now we are all going in different directions. It’s absolutely upsetting and I’m heartbroken, but not bitter about it. I wish it would have ended different but, it’s not the end of the world—there are brighter days ahead.”