SELLERSBURG — High school seniors at Rock Creek Community Academy were met with a celebration Tuesday afternoon as their teachers paid them a visit from a safe distance.
Teachers and administration gathered in their vehicles to visit the homes of the Sellersburg school’s graduating seniors during a parade throughout the community. They also dropped off senior gift baskets for each student.
The teachers decorated their vehicles with signs, painted windows and balloons to show their love and support for the students. They cheered and honked as they passed by the houses, and they were able to talk with the students from a distance.
“It just showed me how much they care about us, and they didn’t want us to be forgotten,” Rock Creek senior Bailey Brown said.
For Rock Creek Principal Sara Hauselman, the parade was about showing the school’s support for the seniors during a challenging time. The parade visited homes in Sellersburg, Charlestown, New Albany and Jeffersonville.
“The seniors definitely have been hit kind of hard with missing so many end-of-school activities the school does for them — missing their proms, missing senior week, then senior dinner and then maybe graduation,” she said.
Since their senior trip to Washington, D.C. was cancelled, the school diverted the funding for the trip to provide laptops to the seniors. The devices were included in the gift baskets, along with snacks and senior T-shirts.
The parade included more than 20 vehicles visiting 18 seniors, and the school’s resource officer led the way. Hauselman was touched by the response from the community as they passed by.
“[People were] waving and some are pulling off the road because we have a police car,” she said. “We are having a great time, and many tears have been shed.”
Jennifer Brown, dean of students at Rock Creek, was thrilled to see the staff turnout — both elementary and middle school teachers joined the high school teachers in the parade. She wants students to know how much they care about them.
“When we found out we had to close for the rest of the year, it was devastating,” she said.
William Paro, who teaches digital media and graphic design at Rock Creek, was a sponsor for the school’s senior trip. They weren’t able to go due to the pandemic, but he wanted to find another way to give back to the students by participating in the parade.
“Although they don’t get to go on an actual trip, it’s so that they know that we care about them and whatnot,” he said.