‘COVID Class’ graduates from Lely High School

Reporter: Jolena Esperto Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

High school students graduating in 2023 are nicknamed the “COVID Class” because they had to go through masking and quarantine.

These students dealt with COVID-19 when they started high school and Hurricane Ian during their senior year. Many parents, teachers, and students told WINK News that graduation was extra special.

Students awarded their diplomas are walking through their high school halls one last time. They also went through more than their typical high school experience.

“COVID, It was a really difficult time for all of us,” Lely High graduate Francisco Angeles said. “I feel like for me, personally, it’s very full circle moment.”

Students were not alone in their struggles. For teachers, online teaching was not easy.

“That was really hard. We really missed each other. We’re like a family. So it was hard, but we got through it,” Tammy Chambers, a special education teacher at Lely High, said.

Josie is one of Chambers’ students graduating from Lely High this year.

“She likes coming to school. So it was a struggle when she wasn’t at school because she likes being around people,” Krista Risch, Josie’s mother, said.

And she wasn’t the only student feeling that way. Angeles is graduating this year and felt the difficulty too.

“It was really tough for us or for them to know what the class is struggling on. Because we couldn’t really, you know, show it,” Angeles said.

At graduation time, the valedictorian, Alexandra Ramos, has a message for others.

“You can do amazing things, and kind of where you are right now doesn’t determine where you will be on later,” Ramos said.

The atmosphere was very emotional, but the tears came from a place of happiness rather than sadness. Which is precisely what kind of tears should be shed at high school graduation.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.