TODAY'S PAPER
Good Morning
Good Morning
NewsHealthCoronavirus

Patchogue-Medford high seniors post video tribute to Class of 2020

Members of Patchogue-Medford High School's Class of 2020

Members of Patchogue-Medford High School's Class of 2020 student government made a YouTube video to lift the spirits of their fellow classmates. Top row from left, class advisor Michelle Mars, Stephanie Henry, Alyssa Madara, Max Kreamer and class advisor Lauren Tirado. Bottom row from left, Mary Savi, P.J. Osheske, Sarah Emr and Sam Katz. Credit: Stephanie Henry

Some Patchogue-Medford High School seniors have a message for their fellow members of the Class of 2020: "We will always have the good old days to look back on."

The group of students appear in a two-minute, 45-second video posted to YouTube this week in which they take turns holding up signs containing each word in the message as the song “Good Old Days,” by rapper Macklemore and pop singer Kesha, plays in the background.

Without warning, many high school seniors across the country ended their high school days unceremoniously before the mandate to stay home took effect because of the coronavirus pandemic. At Patchogue-Medford high, the pandemic means seniors will likely miss out on the time-honored commencement ceremony — an annual ritual that often includes guest speakers, touching tributes and family and friends cheering graduates as they receive their diplomas.

Though an announcement was still pending from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Thursday as to whether he would keep schools closed for the remainder of the academic year, some Long Island students have already begun to accept that might be their reality.

“We have come so far and although the end is not as planned, we will always have the good old days to look back on," reads the full message from the seniors in the YouTube video. 

The song in the video was also used during homecoming day festivities earlier in the school year and took on special meaning after the stay-at-home directive, students said.

A note to our community:

As a public service, this article is available for all. Newsday readers support our strong local journalism by subscribing.  Please show you value this important work by becoming a subscriber now.

SUBSCRIBE

Cancel anytime

“I think the song means even more to us now more than ever because we had no idea that our last couple of days at school were going to be our very last days of high school,” said Stephanie Henry, 17, a senior at Patchogue-Medford.

The plan to do the video came together through conversations among the Class of 2020 executive board members, including Henry, who serves as the treasurer.

Henry said she and her peers feel they’ve learned to “appreciate the moment” and keep a positive mindset.

“I think everyone would have had a lot more appreciation of those last days if we knew what we know now,” said Henry, who plans to attend St. Joseph's College in Patchogue this fall. “You never know those are going to be the days you look back on.”

For P.J. Osheske, 17, participating in the video helped him feel closer to his classmates. 

“Given everything that’s going on right now, it’s good to know that we still have that sense of community,” Osheske said. “Even as something is keeping us physically separated, it still can’t take us apart.”

Osheske, who plans to attend Boston University in the fall, said he’ll remember the hours he spent on FaceTime and other video calls with his classmates during the stay-at-home mandate.

“It’s really surreal,” Osheske said. “I’m trying my best to keep hope and share hope because the point where we give up is not a point I want to get to. I hope this video lifts everyone’s spirits.”

A note to our community:

As a public service, this article is available for all. Newsday readers support our strong local journalism by subscribing.  Please show you value this important work by becoming a subscriber now.

SUBSCRIBE

Cancel anytime

Health