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Community salutes Belmont's Class of 2020

Despite the unexpected early end to their high school years, Belmont High School seniors Brandon Fielders, Seth Rupp, Alexa Rolfe and Teagan Fielders were excited to see the special signs placed around the Belmont Library last week saluting the Class of 2020, courtesy of several supportive businesses and community members. (Photo by Donna Rhodes) (click for larger version)
May 21, 2020
BELMONT – Proud parents, community members and local businesses banded together last week to let Belmont High School's Class of 2020 know how much they are loved and appreciated in a year when proms, sports and other senior events have been cancelled in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. They showed their support through yard signs set out around the Belmont Library for all to see.

Moms Joey Rolfe and Jenifer Fielders first developed the idea to design personalized yard signs for each of the 74 graduating members of the class then sought others to help make it all a reality. Rolfe said in all they came up with more than10 major sponsors then sent in an order to Gator Sign Shop. Featured on the signs were individual photos and the name of each of the seniors.

"We felt like we had to do something for them, and it was amazing how the community came together to support these kids," she said.

Among the many co-sponsors were Brookside Pizza, Life Coping, Silver Sands Marina, Jordan's Ice Creamery, Franklin VNA, Jen's Color Bar, Major Stone Race Team, Lakes Region Floral, the Belmont Police Relief Association, Lt. Joshua Huestis of the Belmont Fire Department, Polly and Jon Camire, Jennifer Gagnon, Joey and Scott Rolfe, and Angela Pickowicz.

As some members of the Class of 2020 helped parents and BHS Principal Matt Finch place the signs around the library lawn last week, they were excited to see all their classmates being recognized by the community.

"This is indeed a good way to recognize us seniors," said Brandon Fielders. "We're all just trying to be strong and to get through this together while we enjoy what we can of our last days in high school."

His twin sister Teagan felt the signs were really something special for she and her classmates, especially considering the fact that the gesture came from not the school but the people of the Shaker School District community.

"With everything we're going through now, all the little things count even more, especially when we're missing out on a lot of big things," said Teagan.

Alexa Rolfe, who also helped with the graphics for special Class of 2020 yard signs from the school district, said she loved seeing the photos of her classmates on the community signs, made extra special by the fact they haven't seen each other in nearly two months now.

"Because we can't physically reach out to one another right now, it's nice to see this and know the community is behind us all," Rolfe said.

While their principal was there to help place the 74 graduate signs and 10 sponsor signs around the library last Wednesday, he said he was only showing his support that day.

"This is their show! The kids, the parents- this is all about them. I think it's terrific," said Finch.

The following day, he and Shaker Regional School District distributed other personalized yard signs for all of the soon-to-be graduates to take home where they could also show their pride. In addition, the district had a special banner made for the class that is now on display above the playing fields at the entrance to the high school.

Decisions about a possible delayed graduation ceremony have yet to be determined but the students can be assured that, with or without a ceremony, their teachers, administrators, families and the entire community supports them and are proud of their many accomplishments.

Martin Lord & Osman
Varney Smith
Brewster Academy
Brewster Academy
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