Canby High School will continue to light Cougar Stadium at 8:20 p.m. (20:20 military time) every Friday night until June 5 in honor of the Class of 2020, whose final trimester — including prom, graduation and other festivities — has been derailed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
This week, district officials announced a new twist: Canby School District residents are now being encouraged to join in the recognition by lighting their front porch lights for 20 minutes starting at 8:20 p.m.
“We will turn on our ‘front porch lights’ at Cougar Stadium,” the district said, noting that school facilities remain closed and anyone who visits the stadium to see the lights is asked to remain in their cars. “Parking lots will be closed and signage will direct drivers to keep driving. Let’s shine a light on our seniors from home!”
The seniors themselves have put their own unique twist on the celebration, staging a car parade each Friday night, where they drive around school facilities, waving and honking at one another — but remaining safely inside their vehicles.
“This definitely gives me something to look forward to in quarantine,” senior Ruby Kayser said of the new Friday tradition. “Just seeing everyone’s faces again made my day so much better. It also reminded me that I am not alone. We are all experiencing this together, and at the end of the day, we have each other’s backs.”
During a community update hosted at Canby Foursquare Church on April 15, Canby Superintendent Trip Goodall noted that this has been an especially difficult time for the senior class.
“All of our students are struggling, but that last part of your senior year is a special time for all of us when we remember back to our high school careers,” he said. “It’s filled with a lot of memories, and these are memories that our students are not going to have the opportunity to have.”
Superintendent Goodall also alluded to a few other things officials are planning to “show how much we really care.” Some of those efforts have included the high school’s first-ever “virtual assembly,” and a virtual talent show this past Thursday.