by Geoff Fox
This June, seniors at Washington County high schools are supposed to walk across the stage at their respective schools, but the county school system is in a holding pattern waiting for the Maryland State Board of Education to make a decision on the remainder of the school year.
Last Wednesday, May 6, the Maryland Board of Education officially closed school buildings for the remainder of the year. Washington County Public Schools had previously announced the school year would end on June 10 whether students returned to classrooms or remained in distance learning.
Despite the historic turn of events, Hancock High School seniors will still be recognized in the community, thanks to an effort by Megan Light.
Light had been thinking of a way to honor the Class of 2020 from Hancock when she saw something on Facebook.
In an email, she told The Hancock News a principal had lined their school’s driveway with banners honoring their graduates. She thought it would be perfect for Hancock.
“Our beautiful town has the banner brackets on Main Street,” she said, referring to the brackets that hold holiday and welcoming greetings, and formerly the veteran banners that now hang in Widmeyer Park.
Light said 34 banners will honor those seniors from Hancock who are graduating from Hancock High School, Washington County Technical High School, or who graduated early.
Light’s daughter, Madisyn, will be among the banners to be hung in town. She will be graduating from Washington County Technical High School.
Since the banners will be hung along Main Street, Light had to approach the town about the idea.
She said Town Manager Joe Gilbert was very receptive to the idea and she heard back within a day or two of her request.
Gilbert said when the request came in about the banners going up, he presented to the mayor and council.
“I can say it was unanimous that they, and I, thought it was a good idea given the social restrictions because of the virus,” he said.
The banners will be 30 inches by 57.5 inches and doubled sided with a color senior picture or yearbook photo. BJ’s Custom Creations in Hagerstown is making the banners
Gilbert said the banners would probably go up at the end of May as they were currently being made.
“The specific details like spacing, etc. haven’t been discussed yet,” Gilbert said in an email.
Once the banners go up, Gilbert said they’ll stay up until sometime late in June.
The Hancock Athletic Boosters are footing the bill for the banner production.
“There won’t be any cost to parents,” Light said. “The booster club is 100% purchasing the banners, no cost to parents.”
The banners have been ordered and will be going up soon. According to a post from April 27 on the Boosters social media page, the banners would take about two and half weeks to complete.