Jupiter applauds its graduates

PHOTO PROVIDED BY Jupiter High School
Principal Dr. Colleen Iannitti presents JHS senior Jared Craig with a grad bag and yard sign on May 19.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, all large gatherings have been either canceled or postponed. Jupiter High’s class 2020 won’t get an in-person graduation but rather a virtual one. However, the school’s administration and the local community are showing their love for the graduates with drive-by parades, grad bags and banners. 

Egret Landing in Jupiter kicked off the festivities with a graduation parade on May 8. Residents, teachers and classmates lined the streets while graduates drove by and were applauded. Some residents had signs and balloons, even noise makers, to celebrate the convoy of seniors.

“Nothing can replace graduation, but at least the parade gave us some recognition, and it was really cool seeing so many people from our neighborhood to come out and cheer us on,” JHS senior Makayla Lynch said. 

Although it could never fill the void of a traditional graduation ceremony, the parade raised the graduates’ spirits, making them feel recognized for all their hard work. Jupiter Farms also hosted a parade on May 14, and Whispering Trails is planning a parade on Friday, May 22, at 6 p.m.

Jupiter High celebrated the seniors when they picked up their caps and gowns on May 19 and 20. Administrators and school staff created Warrior “grad bags” for each graduate, lined the sidewalks outside the gym with banners and hung signs along the pick-up route, all honoring the class of 2020. 

“Not being able to walk across that stage has actually impacted me more than I thought. I am so grateful for everything the school has done to make the class of 2020 feel so loved and accomplished,” senior Allie Christie said. 

The school also hung 13 giant banners along the fences in front of the school on May 11. The banners feature photographs of students at pep rallies and football games and dressed up for Homecoming. One banner features the top 20 of the senior class and another features the 2020 Pathfinder nominees for Jupiter High.

“In March, [Principal] Dr. [Colleen] Iannitti reached out to me about designing banners to recognize the class of 2020, and all Warriors really. She wanted to honor the graduates in a big way,” JHS yearbook and newspaper adviser Ericka Muncy said. “Alphagraphics in Jupiter did a great job printing the banners, and a few administrators and coaches helped hang them…They take up most of the fence in front of the school and are a great way to show the students we’re so proud of them.”