By Carla Bumstead
On May 8, Bellevue High School seniors took their final “walk” through the district. But instead of walking the halls one last time, they drove through the district in the first-ever Senior Celebration Convoy.
In a letter from Bellevue Community Schools Superintendent Kathy Mohney, the community was invited to cheer them on.
“We are encouraging the entire community to join us in celebrating our amazing students by cheering them on as the convoy passes your homes or businesses – keeping our social distancing guidelines in place at all times,” Mohney stated. “We want each of our graduates to know how much our community loves them, so let’s cheer them on.”
The convoy lasted approximately two hours, and made its way down streets and highways all around the Bellevue area. But its most important stops were at the homes of the graduates, explained Cindy Gaedert-Gearhart, parent of one of the grads.
“It must have been such a lot of work for the people who organized it all, as they stopped at each kid’s house,” explained Gaedert-Gearhart, who rode in the convoy with her son Carter Wing. “And it was so nice to see how the community put signs in their windows, and people who didn’t even have kids in the school were out in their yards with signs, waving.”
After making its rounds, the convoy ended up at the high school, where students got out of their vehicles and had their photos taken in their caps and gowns by Candy Marie Robbins. As the day of the convoy was to have been the seniors’ last day of school, if not for COVID-19, there were also stations set up and manned by teachers. The stations gave the kids a chance to say goodbye. At the conclusion of the event, grads were able to pick up their yard signs and bring them home.
As a parent, Gaedert-Wing said the entire event was both delightful and quite sad.
“The kids were so happy, and you saw tons of smiles on their faces,” she said, while trying to choke back a few tears. “These poor kids haven’t seen each other in forever, and they were so happy to be able to talk to each other.”
Another Bellevue parent, Jessie McClelland, offered her thanks to the entire community for its show of support.
“Thank you to our awesome district, administrators, teachers, staff, fire department, parents and community for the parade honoring our students,” McClelland stated. “These kids have faced a lot of challenges and disappointment this year, and I can’t think of a more special way for them end their high school career.”
Photo by Candy Marie Photography
The convoy celebrating Bellevue High School seniors is shown making its way down the village’s main street.