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A salute to Otter Valley’s class of 2020

The Otter Valley Union High School administration, faculty and staff took to social media in the days leading up to graduation and left the following messages for the Class of 2020:
This year’s senior class, the Otter Valley Class of 2020, showed us how resilient and strong they are as individuals and as a combined group. They have weathered many storms — from 9/11 to COVID-19. Throughout all, they have made learning and their community a priority. They have looked out for one another throughout every obstacle and cheered each other on with every success. They are to be commended for their persistence, their care, and their advocacy.
The Class of 2020 is a vocal class in all the best ways. They know how to advocate for themselves in person or in writing. They have passionately pursued an in-person graduation that honors their core value of remaining together through this monumental celebration.
When we think of the Class of 2020, we think of a caring class, a class that has seen hardship well before COVID. We can go right through the list and site one example after another of students who supported the start of our Unified Sports Program, who have suffered extreme losses in their families, who care for younger siblings, who work hard in our community, and who work diligently on their academics. You will also witness exceptional athletes, scholars, leaders and our future.
Knowing the class of 2020 has truly been a gift.
 
A campaign of notes to OV seniors was started on the Otter Valley Facebook page. Here are some of those notes:
To the Class of 2020, we started this journey together six years ago. You, as wide-eyed 7th-graders and me, a brand new Substance Abuse Professional counselor. It has been a privilege to have shared this journey with you. As individuals and as a group, you have taught me strength, resiliency, humor, courage and hope. The historic exit you are making from Otter Valley is only fitting for a class that will forever leave a lasting impression on my life. I am excited to cheer you on as you begin your next adventure.
Katie Wallett
————
Dear OV Seniors 
I will miss you all. Thank you for all the memories, and I hope to see you at some point in the future.
Stay curious and stay strong. Follow your heart, and don’t believe everything you think. 
Wishing you all the best,
– J. Meyers
————
Bonjour,
As you are about to part OV, I understand how bittersweet it must be for you. Let’s not dwell on how your senior year was… unusual, to say the least… or as we say in French, bizarre.
Whether you have been in my classes, or our paths have crossed either in the hallways or in any other ways, I want to thank you for all these great moments, how short they might have been, that we shared. Go, set sail towards a brighter future, and do not forget to visit.
I hate goodbyes (Adieu! Ask Carolynn, Sawyer, Nick, Elie what it means in French), I’d rather say “Au revoir,” see you later.
The future is bright.
Be well, and come visit.
Dr. Sicot
————
Note to seniors from Mrs. Kimball:
I have been so impressed with how you all have handled this difficult time. Your culminating year is coming to an end far from how you ever imagined. Still, you have handled it with class and maturity. You are a class that will go down in history, not just because of COVID-19, but because you are a class made up of well-rounded young adults who are ready to change the world. It is now time to go out there and make your mark.
————
Message to seniors from Ms. Larrow:
“Seniors, I hold your class very close to my heart. You were my first group of 7th-graders that I’ve seen move all the way up through to graduation. We went through a lot together in middle school and I’m so proud to see how far you have all come. You are going to do amazing things and I wish you all the best! Stop by and say hello when you get the chance.”
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Message to seniors from Mr. Jeskie:
Mr. Jeskie wishes the best to the Class of 2020. You will be missed! Sorry that your senior year and your graduation ceremony was not quite what you thought it would be. Be sure to come back for regular visits!
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A note from Mrs. Roberts for graduating seniors:
To the Class of 2020:
I am incredibly honored to know each and every one of you. Despite this horrible pandemic and all the sadness, heartache, disappointment and uncertainty it has wrought, you’ve somehow managed to find and maintain the motivation and resiliency necessary to carry on. To paraphrase the great actor Denzel Washington, you’ve “done what you needed to do so you can do what you want to do.” 
You should be extremely proud of yourselves and your ability to persevere despite the historic curveballs life has thrown at you; I certainly am! 
So onward and upward, brave seniors. The best is yet to come!
xo,
Mrs. Roberts

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