Undaunted: A letter to the Class of 2020 from Mrs. Holland


Lora Lyons

White Station seniors pose and celebrate during a football game this fall. Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, seniors across the country will have to face an unusual end to their final year of high school.

Dedicated to the Class of 2020, My First Graduating Class as Principal of White Station High School,

You guys didn’t ask for much.  You were surely expecting what tradition has allowed for so many years: prom, graduation, and perhaps various and sundry rites of passage associated with senior year. And now, you realize that these things may not happen.

How cool it must have been when you realized you’d be graduating in 2020 of all years!   

And then, two months before graduation and after going to school for 13 years, you are told sorry, you (likely) can’t do those things.

Your teachers, administrators, counselors, and other members of the staff are sad for you. We are disappointed that we aren’t getting to spend these last few weeks with you, see you all dressed up on prom night, watch you walk across that stage to the cheers of family and friends. We too are sad for you and for ourselves, because we do this work for you- to see you experience success and walk forward into your bright futures.  Your success is our reward.

I admit I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself. I have stood in the background at graduation for years. I have been so excited to hand diplomas to the class of 2020 and now I’m told that may not happen.  I may not get to experience that joy along with you, and it’s so disappointing.  Graduation is the summit of every high school educator’s year. We share that with our seniors.  So, we stand together with you and feel that sadness alongside you.

I know you all must be feeling a myriad of emotions. But, you are Spartans. If you look up the word spartan in the dictionary, beneath the actual definition you’ll see “words related to spartan”: brave, courageous, disciplined, and undaunted. What does it mean to be undaunted? It means that you are not intimidated or discouraged by difficulty or disappointment.

Hold your heads high. You will still celebrate. You are still proud of your accomplishments. It’s ok to be disappointed. You have every right to be. But, no matter what happens, you will receive your diploma and you will go on to pursue your dreams. No one can take those from you.

Spartan Strong. The Undaunted Class of 2020. We love you guys. I can promise you one thing. White Station will never forget you. 

Sending love and well wishes and excitement for your journeys.  You’ve only just begun.

With Admiration,

Carrye Holland