Class of 2020 Feature

Hindsight 2020 — Staff and Students Reflect on SHS Senior Class

The following tributes and memories were gathered by The Talon to honor the class of 2020.

Ari Kane– Student

Our sophomore year we were supposed to host semifinals of the METG Drama Festival. It’s a huge event to plan, especially since a bunch of other high school theater companies come with their own shows, sets, tech needs, food needs, etc. Then, when a huge storm hit the site we were supposed to go to for the preliminary round, we ended up having to host that as well on about 12 hours notice! It was crazy and hectic, but it brought us together as a theater company and it’s a moment that I’ll never forget (especially since we ended up moving to semifinals that day).

Mrs. Kaplan– Teacher

The words that come to mind when I think about the class of 2020 are diligent, motivated, creative and fun…. so much fun!  We laughed a lot that year in math class!  I still use the midyear review videos they made that year as examples for my current classes.  I remember being wonderfully surprised when I watched the videos and saw some of my most serious students being silly and funny!  Their hard working spirit even transferred to the track.  The team was particularly driven that year, even though Jada J kept telling me she was going to play softball at the high school :). I have such fond memories of the Class of 2020 and am so happy to see all that you have accomplished since leaving SMS.  Your futures are bright and I can’t wait to see where you go from here!  Congratulations!

With much pride,

Mrs. Kaplan

Mrs. Herbstzuber– Teacher

When I had the Class of 2020 back in 7th grade, I had a particularly fun group in my advisory. We used to perform skits every chance we had as an alternate way of doing advisory lessons and the kids were hilarious. One time Devin was being very dramatic and suddenly flopped down on my round table and the whole thing tipped over (he was fine). Telishya thought it was hysterical. The best moment was when we had an advisory talent show in the auditorium. Devin played the flute, I juggled basketballs, Shirley threw goldfish crackers in the air and caught them in her mouth, a group of boys did some magic tricks, but the biggest surprise came from Austin, who did the most amazing hawk call! The best part about this group was that even though they were not all friends, they were accepting of each other and had fun together.

Mrs. Herbstzuber (a.k.a. Mrs. H)

Ms. Newman– Teacher

Here are a few memories that I have (I have many more but I would like to recognize these especially):

  • Class of 2020 – the initiating class of one-to-one.  Your class was the first grade ever in SPS to receive school-owned laptops for use at home & school
  • Dani T & Jack P leading a Professional Development session for SPS teachers called “Student perspectives on the use of technology”
  • Dani To co-authoring a chapter in a book to be published by the “Mediatrician” Dr. Michael Rich; Dani also led a few evening sessions for parents on Social Media & the Life of Adolescents
  • Jack G -Initiating a project to organize the computer wiring in classrooms across the school.  Through his project, the teacher desktop workstation area became much more usable in the classrooms that were touched.

Dr. Dahlen– Foreign Language Coordinator

While I have never taught the current seniors, I was lucky enough to get to know several of them during the World Challenge Peru trip in 2017.  I remember hoping I didn’t have to ride the donkey along the mountainous path with the steep dropoff and then being sad/relieved that Rachel had to ride it.  I remember our disappointment at not getting to Machu Picchu (close, but no cigar), while at the same time feeling supportive of the teachers who were blocking the railway striking for higher wages.  I remember a wonderful meal in Lima’s Chinatown and a late-night cab ride to the emergency room (no connection to the Chinese food : )  I will never forget how close the stars looked from our campsite at 15,000 feet high and the joy of seeing students mature in front of my eyes as they conquered logistical, interpersonal and physical challenges.  Thanks for creating those memories with me!

Shraddha Parmar-Student

One of my highlights from high school has to be my first day of Freshman year! I got dropped off in my mom’s car near the front of the school. Like usual, I was almost late on my first day! I remember that I took a deep breath, holding onto my backpack straps and accepting that this was the building I will be seeing for the next 4 years!  I walked to my first period World History class, walking by a sea of familiar and unfamiliar faces in the hallway and then took a seat near the front of the classroom. I was excited that I was about to begin a new chapter in my life, but nervous because I had no idea what the future would hold. At 8:05am, the school bell rang and my head jolted up because I thought it was the fire alarm. Nope, it was the sound that marked the beginning of my high school journey!

Mr. Dixon– Teacher

The Class of 2020 will forever be special to me. Since I mostly teach seniors, I really never met the Class of 2020 until your Junior year. Yes, it was the walkout that first brought you to my attention. I was so affected by your passion and intelligent arguments. Then, I had the pleasure of meeting three classes for your senior year. The year began with continued passion. This time about climate change. I remember thinking that the world will be in good shape when you are in charge!

The students in my classes were smart and hardworking. And asked challenging questions. The thing is, most classes at SHS are like that. The things I most remember are the little things. The not so academic things. The personalities and jokes. The senior classes I had this year were so considerate of each other and me. You were motivated to learn. I think we all really enjoyed each other. I know I enjoyed you. I will never forget crab dances and TikToks, Eagle Block length discussions about things like the most significant century, virus raps, bizarre inventions to rid the world of vaping (and discussions about that), royal greetings, memes, the kids on both sides of the hall, sitting on the heaters, the Texpo and STEM Talks, Thanksgiving with RISE and Pathways, my tech helpers, bouncing tennis balls, being called Dixie, seeing your smiles when I greeted you each day at the door, seeing you outside your houses and sitting on your cars during the parade, just seeing you each day.

I’ll never forget the Class of 2020. You are all remarkable people. Thank you for letting me know you.

Ms. Miller– Teacher

Here are some of my memories–

I had read the book “one green apple” about kids befriending a new student who didn’t dress the way others did and was nervous. Then after lunch that day, Rachel and Riley came running up to me to say they had reached out to a kid at lunch, just like what had happened in the book.

I remember the Thanksgiving bags and how my advisory that year really got into it. I did nothing. They got everyone inspired to bring in something and took so much pride in packing those bags and helping people.

I remember going on a whale watch and a TON of kids got sick! We saw some whales, too.

I mostly remember what a great group of kids 2020 was. Your group was my favorite advisory class ever.

I remember when your group were eighth grade peer leaders and what an amazing job you did presenting–I think you were the first year we presented.

Mrs. Kaye– Counselor

To the Class of 2020, and especially to students with the last names beginning with St-Z;

I want to wish you all the best as you continue to work toward your future goals.  May your impact on continuing to shape society be fierce.  It has been an honor and privilege to watch you grow and develop these past four years.  You are a talented group of students and you are doing your best to manage challenging circumstances!  I look forward to hearing about your successes as you move forward.  I’m confident that many of you will remain connected for life, and these shared experiences will only help to strengthen your bond.  I wish we could all be together to celebrate you all, and I look forward to the day we can all look back and say remember when?!  Enjoy these special moments with your family and friends!

Ms. Novick– Teacher

A secret you may not know is this: your teachers often learn more from you than you do from them. The most significant lesson I have learned from you, the class of 2020, is the lesson of devotion. So much more than dedication, devotion is love, loyalty, and passion.

On so many levels, I have witnessed your devotion: You are devoted to your communities, your families, and your friends. You are devoted to your extracurriculars: to your sports teams and theatre company, to music and art, to so many clubs and activities, to volunteering and working outside of school.

In Junior English, I saw your devotion to trying, your willingness to tackle that “Rose for Emily” timeline, debate Gatsby’s greatness, and persevere through those Crucible essays. (Sorry about those essays.)

I saw your devotion to creativity as you shared ideas that had never occurred to me before: your Body Biography projects made of chess pieces, tissue paper oceans, flags, veils, flowers and flames.  Your short story projects that I loved reading. Your nature poems.

I saw your devotion to enthusiasm, to a willingness to just go for it.  You brought Abigail Williams and John Proctor to life in the trial scenes in The Crucible, took us all outside to perform Walt Whitman’s poetry, and reflected with Mary Oliver on your “one wild and precious life.”

I saw your devotion to our classroom community and to making others smile. Sharing your home inventories as we began our study of Transcendentalism, sharing your “profound thoughts,” and, during the final capstone dinner projects, sharing your amazing creations as well as your snacks.  (Yes, one of you ordered pizza for the class; another made homemade munchkins, and I ate about 20 of them.)

Of course, I also saw your devotion to social action: to rising up, to speaking out, to making our school and world better than before.

And now, most recently, I see your devotion to positivity as you face the disappointments of this year with grace. And, I see your resilience as you find other ways forward, as you conceive of alternatives, as you celebrate anyway.

As you leave Sharon High School, stay open to devotion. Remain willing to be devoted.  Celebrate everything. And know that you have left me and Sharon High School better than you found us. Thank you, class of 2020! I have had the honor of knowing many of you far longer than your four years at Sharon High School.  Please keep in touch. You are wonderful, and I will miss you!

Mr. Heller– Teacher

1) I will always remember and cherish Caleb G checking in with me EVERY day to shake my hand, see how I was doing on that day, and giving me a hard time over being a Lakers fan.

2) I will always remember Sydney L-C shouting ‘That’s Fire!’ every time she enjoyed a lesson and was learning something that engaged her.

3) I will always remember Liv S and Sophie K choosing to work on their projects underneath my desk.

4) I will always remember Jake R’s alarmed facial expression when I redecorated his ELA journal with famous Lakers players.

5) I will always remember Dani T’s great attitude, strong work ethic, and the many times she fixed my computer.

6) My own kids will remember the kindness and warmth shown to them by their SHS babysitters: Sammy F, Liv S, and Olivia C.

Ms. Weston– Teacher

Congratulations Seniors! I had some of you as starting ninth graders, confident tenth graders and rising Juniors. I was fortunate enough to travel to Tanzania with a few. It’s been my pleasure to watch you wandering the halls: your smiles and laughter often made my day. I wish you all sunshine after the rain, perseverance in times of struggle, and friends who walk beside you! Always grab life and live it to the fullest! Take good care. I will never forget the Class of 2020!

Ms. Smolcha– Teacher

Congratulations Class of 2020!  I didn’t get to know most of you, but your reputation as a group of young people who are kind, hard-working, and passionate about the world around you is well known.  There is one group of your class that I did get to know well – the students who participated in the SMS Girls Learn International Club.  The club had just started in 2012, so it was really just getting underway when you were at Sharon Middle School.  For those of you who participated in the club – for one, two, or all three years of middle school – you had a wide range of experiences that allowed you to grow and develop not just as young people but as citizens of the world.  The thing that got the most attention was our videoconferences with the students at the Zabuli Education Center in Afghanistan, and I know that many of you found those to be powerful and emotional.  What I remember most fondly is watching you all grow and develop your own sense of who you are and what you could do.  Whether it was planning and organizing bake sales too numerous to count, writing announcements to tell people about what we do, speaking up at our fundraisers or in front of large groups to explain the importance of girls’ education around the world, you all demonstrated such leadership and the realization that yes, you can have a positive impact on the world around you.  It was a pleasure to watch and I know many of you have worked hard to continue to make that impact in many other ways by organizing and encouraging those around you that they too can make a difference.  I know that you will all carry that forward as you go out into the world, and I am so pleased to know that the world will shortly be in your hands because you will continue to do all that you can to make it better.  Congratulations and best wishes!

Ms. Malcolm– Teacher

My fondest memory of the class of 2020 is the protest last spring. I saw many members of the junior class make a stand about something they strongly believed in. I was so proud of the tenacity, integrity and leadership they showed!

Mr. Banno– Teacher

A message to the Class of 2020:  Congratulations on your graduation from Sharon High School. I wanted to express some of my thoughts to you about the past year and express gratitude for our time together. Not only did you rejuvenate my love of teaching, but my faith in that “tiny ripples of hope” will be sent in multiple ways. In addition, John Steinbeck said, “When two people meet, each one is changed by the other so you have two new people.”  There is no doubt that great things come from a meeting between people—I know I have changed in so many positive ways because of our daily interactions, discussions, debates, laughter, and conversations. One universe, seven planets, two hundred and four countries, eight hundred and nine islands, seven seas, fifty states and I had the privilege to meet you, Class of 2020.  What a gift!  Thank you for a truly, wonderful four years. 

All the best,

Mr. Banno

Mrs. d’Entremont– Counselor

My message to the Class of 2020 (to everyone but really especially to my seniors, from de Carbonnel to Heitin!)

For many of you, I remember you sitting in the library in June 2016 and meeting you all during Step-Up Day.  It was not too much of a “meet” but I did get to greet you and welcome you to Sharon High School. For others, I met you while registering to join our SHS community – for some that was four years ago and for others that was less than a year ago.  In any case, at any time during your high school career, I welcomed you and you became one of mine.  (As school counselors, yes, we embrace all of the students at SHS, but when you are in my individual caseload, you become mine.)  And with each of you, our journey together has created a story.  Usually, my story with my students is complete with a happy ending at a traditional graduation ceremony (and your final trek into the gym to retrieve your actual diploma from me. The little known secret is that actual diplomas are distributed after the ceremony and it is my favorite time.)  This year is different but no less memorable!

The spring of the senior year is when I watch you develop your wings and prepare to move to your next step, your next adventure.  And while now I cannot be with you in school to watch you in that preparation and celebrate with that one last…one last exam, one last eagle block pass, one last lunch in the cafeteria, or as you walk across the stage at graduation, you are all in my thoughts and in my heart as you continue to prepare for your next adventures.

You may be at home keeping safe and keeping us all safe, but you are still preparing and developing those wings.  It is just different.  Remain hopeful.  Keep loving.  Keep sharing and building memories with your family and friends (virtually or at a safe distance).  These are times we will never forget.  Build strong, vivid, and happy memories.

My love and best wishes to you all!

Mrs. d’E

Jack Zinman- Student & CEO of Sports Editing for The Talon

Sharon High School,

            Going into my freshman year I had zero clue what you had in store for my short, blonde, socially awkward self. But as I write my final journalism piece for Shiebler, the lessons you taught me, whether it be in the classroom or out, I will cherish for the rest of my life. I made so many friends throughout my four years and can’t wait to see what they all accomplish down the road. As quarantine has gone on, I would think of the people I never talked to and for some odd reason wish I could see them one more time at lunch or in the hallways. The same goes for them as it goes for my friends, I can’t wait to see all they accomplish. As for my teachers, thank you all for handling us and giving knowledge to all of us. I’m not sure what my favorite memory from high school is. One memory was all of the lunches and being with everyone. Something that is different about our class is that we were all so close. There were no “Social classes” I believe everybody felt welcomed. Lastly, Journalism has made my four years even better. By chance, I got switched into the class at the beginning of my sophomore year. I didn’t have a desktop so I sat in a little crevice in the back of the class. I instantly fell in love with writing. It gave me something to do in my spare time and I didn’t have to write about a book I didn’t want to read, I had freedom. I took the class again my junior year and was the sports editor and broke out of my shell. Finally, in my senior year I was the Sports Editor again but introduced a podcast to the Talon. It was a success and gave us even more freedom. Mr. Shiebler made the class so enjoyable by being that cool, calm and collected teacher. He’d get on me when he thought I needed to do better and when one of my pieces weren’t good, he would have no hesitation telling me. Like a good sports coach, he just wanted to see my full potential and make me a better writer. I will forever be grateful for the class and Mr. Shiebler.

Thank You,

Jack Zinman

Ms. Glasheen– School Adjustment Counselor

When I met you in middle school during that record-breaking, snowy winter of 2015, I suspected after just a few days together that the Class of 2020 was anything but “ordinary.” You did not disappoint. The kindhearted, fun, funny, smart, talented, unassuming, generous, spirited, outspoken individuals who I’ve met and watched grow up has been a privilege and a joy. I treasure these past two “bonus” years with you at Sharon High too, where I got to watch so many of you come to value your worth and share your talents with others.

As you grew and learned – sometimes through trial and error – how to balance academics with family traditions and social demands – what became clear was your tenacity and courage as you spoke up for yourselves and others. Your refusal to be anything but active participants in your own lives, be it the call for human rights with dignity, student safety, inclusion, cultural proficiency, or changes to environmental, political, and global issues is your class’s triumph and will be your distinguished legacy. Well done!

To quote former United States senator, Robert F. Kennedy, “Like it or not, we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty, but they are also the most creative of any time in the history of mankind.” How incredibly fortunate we all are to have people with your character and commitment prepared and willing to lead your generation as you make this world a better place. For all humankind and for all living things.

Keep being extraordinary.

Sincerely,

Joan Glasheen

Jinyi Hu– Student & Correspondent for The Talon

—senior sunrise

Hot breaths dissipated in thin air as I made my way towards the lake, nervous energy coursing through my body. The familiar faces that I saw every day were somehow different, eclipsed by the slowly retreating night. I would usually still be eating breakfast so early in the morning, yet here I was, getting sand in my shoes as I ran as fast as I could to the Massapoag beach.

The slow peeking of sun over browning trees cast a shimmering glow on the water’s surface. Lungs threw out bouts of giddy laughter as eyes sparkled in unadulterated joy, so bright I thought that maybe the Sun had paid a quick visit to planet Earth and left behind traces of its brilliance. Although the air was chilly, I was pleasantly warm, arms wrapped around my friends as we smiled wide, waiting for the camera to shutter.

—revolution

The waves of change came in the form of paper pleas that administration rushed to tear off the walls, then in the indignant voice of clear-eyed individuals. Their message rang clear: if you do not give us justice, then we will find it ourselves. I watched with barely bated breath as they, hearts heavy but nevertheless determined, became makers of a revolution that would change the narrative of what it meant to be students of one Sharon High School.

Madame Acheson Berman– Teacher

I adore the 2020 Seniors! I have so many wonderful memories of so many of you. A few standout memories are, of course, having you in class, working with the wonderful Human Trafficking Awareness Club and traveling to Quebec with some of you this past winter. During the Quebec trip I especially enjoyed getting to know you better during our meals together and the tubing. Was the really steep one called “Everest”? It was so fun to see everyone get so excited about that! I would also like to say a special, “Félicitations!” to my current Seniors: Samar, Lilly, Daniel, Shirley, Johnny and Rhamsez. Bravo à vous tous!!!

Ms. Georgi– Teacher

1)My goofy guys squirming out of their chairs, signaling their boredom by pulling their sweatshirt hoods over their entire faces, and being so charming that I almost didn’t notice their lack of productivity in many US History classes.

2) Needing all of September 2018 before I could distinguish between a good-man and a zin-man.

3) Sitting outside of room 700 during EB talking to kids and watching them make friendship bracelets. I still wear one and I’m still waiting for one!

4) Pharaoh’s “hump day” shirt that he wore every Wed.

5) Lily K having to disentangle Devin from his desk.

6) Being so proud of some of my US History and American Studies kids for their BSU presentation in front of 1/2 the school in March 2020.

7) My first day teaching American Studies when most of the kids who talked kept repeating that they didn’t want Mr Fazzio to leave and to “get stuck with” someone new. My last day teaching American Studies and noticing how much many of them grew intellectually.

8) Being crowned “queen” by a group of girls I won’t soon forget!

9) Sreekar’s endless questions and Nathan’s ability to fall asleep between the 8:00 bell and the 8:05 bell.

10) Insisting on Thursday March 12 that school would be in session and I’d be giving the Intelligence and Testing unit test; not having school, not having the test, and lots of kids in both AP psych sections later teasing me about my wrong prediction.

11) Meeting people’s pets, seeing their messy bedrooms, and having video chats with many of you being the highlight of my day over the last 3 months!

Ms. Scarborough– Teacher

Congratulations Class of 2020 

YOU are an extra special group of individuals!!

YOUR ideas, energy, and kind spirits will always be remembered. 

YOU made a real difference in Sharon. 

Best of luck in all of YOUR future endeavors!

♡ Ms. Scarborough, Grade 7 and 8 Science Teacher @ S.M.S.

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