SAMMAMISH, Wash. -- Governor Jay Inslee announced schools in Washington state will stay closed for the remainder of the academic year to reduce exposure to COVID-19. Though Monday’s announcement may have been expected by some, for others it’s heartbreaking news to hear just a couple of months away from graduation day.
Inslee said seniors in good standing with their schools will receive a diploma. For students, however, they said they have been working hard for so many years to walk across that graduation stage. Some of them said that moment would have solidified all their hard work.
Triplets Cole Davis, Maddy Davis and Carson Davis have been side by side in school all their lives. 2020 would have been the last time they shared the halls together at Eastlake High School in Sammamish.
“I think we were all really excited. Like, 2020 sounds like the best year to graduate, it just sounds like such a great year. And I think we were all looking forward to that,” said Maddy.
“It’s kind of something you look forward to all throughout high school and even sometimes middle school. And it’s time to be with your friends, your last hoorah to say goodbye when you all leave for college and go different places,” said Cole. “We had our last day of high school without knowing it was our last day of high school.”
The school has been closed for weeks to reduce exposure to COVID-19, which canceled the spring events so many students were excited about.
“It just doesn’t feel completed. It’s just kind of like an unwritten story. It was something that had such a build-up that everyone got to experience that we might get to experience, but it’s not looking super positive right now,” said Carson.
While scrolling through old homecoming pictures on her phone, Maddy had her eyes set on prom. Before schools were closed, Carson, a baseball player, was getting his classmates excited for the season.
“I wasn’t planning on playing college sports, so think was kind of my last chance at playing baseball, my last chance to play with everyone I grew up with and play against friends from other schools,” said Carson.
Their dad, Jayme Davis, is making signs to raise money for a special event for Eastlake seniors. Some ideas include a senior trip or party. He said it’s an effort to salvage what was lost during the second semester.
“At the end of the day, it’s just a bummer. It’s a bummer they’re missing out on a lot,” said Davis. “We’re just trying to maintain a positive attitude through it all. The one thing that they have been able to do is work on their college housing and their FAFSA and their aid and all the stuff they need to get ready for college.”
For now, memories are what’s left for the Class of 2020.
“Just trying to stay attached and keep ourselves updated as much as can because it’s so minute to minute, we just don’t know,” said Carson.
Maddy and Carson will be attending the University of Arizona in the fall. Cole accepted a soccer scholarship at a different university.
Governor Inslee said the state is exploring options on graduations and walking. He said at this time there are no set plans for ceremonies. However, assured the discussions will continue as this is top of mind for so many students and families across the state.