Class of 2021 plans senior year events


Photo used with permission of Sara Awad.

Seniors Lindsey Lim and Kristen Yoo hold up masks they decorated and brought to the Don’t Stop Believin’ Tailgate event in March.

Catherine Xu, Editor-in-Chief

In the midst of an unusual online school year, the 2021 Class Board has been busy behind-the-scenes preparing for various senior events. Preparation work includes making the script for the graduation ceremony, working on the senior mural and deciding the class gift. “Each member works efficiently with individuals from the school and community to ensure senior events will be held successfully,” Class Board of 2021 officer and senior Sara Awad said.

Along with the usual events, the county asked all schools to create new in-person senior events every month that follow COVID-19 guidelines, such as Seniors ‘R Cruisin which was held in November.

“A lot of our events involve students driving or walking [by] in order to keep [as] minimal contact as possible,” Class Board of 2021 officer and senior Lindsey Lim said. “Our Seniors R’ Cruisin event was definitely something different, as we had students drive around the school in their own cars to stop by each station and pick up goodies.”

Future events will be held in the school parking lot similar to the Don’t Stop Believin’ Tailgate event in March, with participants bringing their own chairs and keeping six feet away from each other, according to Class Board of 2021 sponsor Karen Molloy.

“This year’s plans are different because there are no decisions on how things will actually work for graduation,” Molloy said. “There are limits on gathering size, and mitigation strategies must be at the forefront of all activities. Safety is the first concern as always, but a pandemic adds limitations to how we can operate.”

Though decisions are usually made by the board during meetings, they strive to prioritize student feedback. Board members put polls on their Instagram (@chantilly2021) so that seniors can vote on what activities they want for the year.

“Of course, our main priority is everyone in the student body, so we always try to vote on things that we think the entire class would agree with,” Class Board of 2021 officer and senior Aryan Bangalore said. “Just recently, we put up a poll on our Instagram about what sweatshirt designs people would prefer. I would really encourage everyone to follow to keep updated on what we do and important information.”

The board is available to contact on social media and reaches out for student opinions in order to better represent the senior body in their planning. The specific events will also be announced on their Instagram and the Class of 2021 Google Classroom.

“We are working really hard to try and make things as fun and enjoyable this year, but we are always open to suggestions,” Bangalore said. “I highly encourage people to direct message us on Instagram about any suggestions they have or [contact] any one of the board members.”

The most anticipated event among seniors is likely graduation, which is still uncertain because of the pandemic conditions. The board knows just how important the ceremony is, but the massive scale of the event makes it less feasible to hold safely, unlike the other smaller events. 

“Graduation is a big deal and I know we’ve all been waiting these past four years for that one moment to receive your diploma and walk across the stage,” Lim said. “I believe our county is definitely trying to push for an in-person graduation. Whether it still be at George Mason University or even at our own football field, hopefully we can get approved to have it in person.”

Though plans like graduation are still undecided, the board is optimistic about making the rest of the year as enjoyable as possible for the Class of 2021. Regardless, the board hopes to hold it in person if the county allows for it.

“When graduation comes, we will have convocation and, hopefully, a grab-and-go senior breakfast,” Lim said. “We want our seniors to make the best of this year, so we hope to give them fun opportunities until the big day.”