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E-W High School Class of 2020 share future plans, how pandemic has affected them

Series: Coronavirus | Story 175

Last updated 5/12/2020 at 10:15am

Clockwise, from top left: Katrina Peterson, Emmanuel Boakye-Ansah, Ryane Alexey-Simmons, Taiyo Hayes, TJ Oliver, Alex Siecke, Diana Anguelova, Kemmerly Chipongian.

As you know, Gov. Jay Inslee ordered all schools in the state to shut down for the entire school year due to the coronavirus pandemic's effects. This means high school seniors at Edmonds-Woodway will not have their traditional prom and graduation.

While the status of graduation ceremonies remains unclear, it's likely social distancing will affect any ceremonies that are held.

The Beacon reached out to several local seniors about their plans and coping mechanisms during the ongoing pandemic.

We worked with Kemmerly Chipongian, a senior at Edmonds-Woodway, and one of school's ASB members, to recognize the Class of 2020.

The ASB has created ewhs2020_futures on its Instagram page. In addition to our website, the Beacon has post student profiles on its Instagram page, as well as on Facebook.

Alex Siecke

"I'm Alex Siecke, a senior at Edmonds-Woodway, and I will be attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the fall as an Environmental Management and Protection major.

"I am very excited to be moving to California, meeting new people, and having new experiences. I am upset with the way my senior year had to come to an end, but I am spending more time with family, which almost makes it worth it.

"I feel very fortunate to be able to contact my friends from afar using different social medias and FaceTime. The staff at Edmonds-Woodway are very supportive, and understand what us seniors are going through, so I have hope for some of our traditions to be held later in the summer.

"Our class ASB is working tirelessly to make sure every senior feels appreciated by running the @ewhs2020_futures as well as reaching out to remind each other we are not alone."

Emmanuel Boakye-Ansah

"Hi! My name is Emmanuel Boakye-Ansah, and I think I'm going to attend the University of Washington, but I haven't made a definitive choice yet. I plan to study chemistry and a various other areas of study.

"This quarantine has taught me the importance of the field in our world, and I want to be able to make a impact on the world through chemistry in the future.

"It's tough not being able to socialize in person with many of my friends and classmates right now, but I've enjoyed the time it's given me to focus on my family and the things that I enjoy doing, such as writing songs and reading a book just for the fun of it.

"With my education, I'm glad that my teachers are keeping in touch and making sure that our brains don't rot during this time.

"It's painful to miss the memories that come with the second semester of senior year, but I know it's all for the best, and I'm glad that our ASB is able to help make these times a little more connected for everyone while we're apart."

TJ Oliver

"My name is TJ Oliver, and I'm a senior at Edmonds-Woodway. I haven't committed to a college yet, but I'm planning to study business at either UW or the University of Notre Dame. Whether we start online or in person next fall, I am beyond excited about the opportunity to continue my education.

"I could never have predicted the end of senior year, for multiple reasons. Between undergoing brain surgery in February, and finishing high school in quarantine, 2020 has already been unforgettable. Although it has been hard to miss out on many of the end of high school traditions, I'm thankful for all of the amazing things that have come out of this experience.

"I'm so lucky to have extra time to spend with my family, to focus on my recovery, and to be able to pursue my passions outside of school.

"All of us at EWHS are blessed to have amazing teachers who have continued to work hard, making sure that we're all ready to graduate, despite the circumstances. On ASB, we are doing our best to find new ways to celebrate our class, and we're optimistic about the possibility of making up some of the favorite traditions this summer!"

Diana Anguelova

"My name is Diana Anguelova. I have not committed to a college yet, but I'm debating between WWU, UW, and Cal Poly SLO. I plan to double major in Business Administration and Graphic Design, which I'm really excited to study and explore career fields.

"It's been difficult making a decision since life right now is so subject to change. I'm not sure if paying twice as more for out-of-state tuition is worth it, in case we have to do the semester online.

"In terms of senior year coming to an abrupt end, of course I'm devastated, especially that this would have been my fourth season on the varsity tennis team, which I was super stoked about. However, I am very grateful that my parents can work from home and that the weather has been great so I can still stay active.

"Staying home has also given me more time to explore my creative interests, such as creating videos and making music. I'm honestly having a great time taking as much time to myself to do all the things I need to do, as well as constantly Facetiming my friends.

"I understand that in this time, extreme measures have to be taken, so I am trying to make best with what I've got!"

Kemmerly Chipongian

"I'm planning to attend the University of Victoria in Canada next year and major in psychology with a minor in Spanish.

"I'm a dual citizen and have familyin BC, so I'm really excited, but am also preparing for the possibility that my first semester will be online.

"I was upset about senior year getting cut short, but it's important to be grateful for what I do have and remember this is what's best for everyone, so that's what I'm trying to do. "Our class ASB is really trying to make the rest of the year still special for seniors, by remotely planning whatever we can and creating the @ewhs2020_futures account so all seniors can share their plans for next year – whether it's university, community college, or anything else!

"Even though it's a really uncertain time, I'm really grateful to have the ability to still contact my friends and family and support them, albeit from afar.

"Our teachers are doing an amazing job of adapting to this unprecedented situation, and we still have classes online, so it's nice to get to see everyone's faces once in awhile."

Katrina Peterson

"Hi, my name's Katrina Peterson and I'm a senior at Edmonds-Woodway.

Next year I will be attending Gonzaga University to study Computer Science and Biology. The forecasts, estimates, and models of COVID-19 in the news have given me a greater appreciation for the field I hope to study, Computational Biology.

"While I am missing my friends and important milestones during this time, I really appreciate all the efforts to honor and celebrate the class of 2020.

"I've been using this time to volunteer at the Edmonds Food Bank, and it's been inspiring to see our community band together and support each other during this unprecedented crisis."

Taiyo Hayes

"My name is Taiyo Hayes, and I am a senior at Edmonds-Woodway attending University of Southern California next year. I am rather undecided as to my area of study, but am currently admitted into Dornsife College of Arts and Sciences to major in cognitive sciences.

"My roommate and I have frequently discussed the very real possibility that we will be learning online for our first semester or so. While we understand the need for safety, it is somewhat difficult to know that we have to pay tuition but not truly enjoy the in-person college experience, at least not immediately.

"As for my senior year, it is extremely disappointing to have to close out high school like this. However, I think this will teach us all to value our time with one another and live life to the fullest.

"I hope this experience brings us closer together as a class; I'm sure this is a time we will all never forget. I appreciate all the teachers and staff at Edmonds-Woodway for caring about our well being and doing the absolute most to maintain our education during quarantine."

Ryane Alexey Simmons

"I am coping by trying to get remote school work done as much as we can with the overwhelming feelings of both senioritus and grieving the year we've always waited for.

"Combating boredom by using our creativity and technology to bond and express what we are feeling.

"I am missing the time of year when classes are reserved for yearbook signing, crying, and hugs.

"Next year I will be attending Columbia College Chicago to study social media management and digital strategy in the arts.

"I can't wait to be in the Windy City and the environment of an art school!"


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