On Friday, March 13, 2020, St. Thomas Aquinas High School faculty, staff, and students departed campus for what would be a very long time. Advised to take their belongings with them, Saints emptied their lockers that day amidst excited chatter tainted with a trace of uncertainty. Surely, “the Coronavirus” that was spreading around the globe wouldn’t interrupt lives too much or for too long.
Little did we all know on that fateful day that life as we knew it was about to be turned upside down.
It has been a full year now and it is safe to say that all global citizens have had an opportunity to size up that which they deem most important. 365 days of masks, social-distancing, wary looks and weary souls have created new norms and normals.
At St. Thomas Aquinas, our community adjusted and adapted not once or twice but many, many times over the course of the year. We did our best to give the Class of 2020 a celebratory final salute. We headed into a vacationless summer working tirelessly to figure out how to educate our students in an environment that demanded distance and barriers. Covid-19 robbed everyone of traditional joys such as travel, social gatherings, and dining out. Businesses suffered, hospitals suffered, people suffered.
A declared determination to begin the 2020-21 school year in-person was the fuel that propelled STA forward. We welcomed home the Class of 2024 on August 26th and ushered the rest of our Saints onto campus on August 31st. One-way directionals, masked faces, and six-foot markers impeded our ability to bond and gather. Pivoting, contact tracing, and quarantining became verbs that wrought angst.
And yet, despite the massive number of challenges, we have navigated successfully through one full year of a pandemic, a pandemic that taught our community some powerful truths.
- Adolescents are resilient.
- Eyes can smile.
- The shade of a maple tree makes for a beautiful classroom.
- “Zoom!” is more than a toddler's word.
- Commencement ceremonies can be in August.
- Nothing can diminish Saints Pride.
- Virtual can never replace real.
- Human touch must never be taken for granted.
- Life is tough but humans are tougher.
- Each and every child in our care is our source of breath.
- God is good. All the time.
Faith in God, one another, and the human spirit. It's all we need.
Together, we will.
Together, we did.
#saintspride #stalux #luxintenebris