Oakton Administration Celebrates Class of 2020

How Ms. Lane and the counselors are making sure seniors get the recognition they deserve


courtesy of oaktoncounselor instagram

Unfortunately, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many important milestones for the Class of 2020 have been canceled and their final days of high school were suddenly ripped out from under their feet. While senior prom may have been canceled and sports and club season cut short, Fairfax County and Oakton Administration are working as hard as possible to ensure the best version of graduation as possible to recognize the seniors for their success. 

Oakton’s principal, Ms. Lane, said, “we just want to give our students a chance to celebrate, and we know what an important milestone it is.” There have been three senior celebration opportunities put into place by Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS): an individual photo opportunity, a senior video for each school, and potentially an in-person ceremony at a later date. Seniors will still be receiving all their graduation regalia including gowns, chords, etc. 

The individual photo opportunity will allow students to recreate the iconic picture taken after receiving a diploma. Oakton will be setting up the Oakton backdrop used at the EagleBank area for a traditional graduation, and students will be dressed in their graduation regalia. This event will take place at Oakton in June for seniors and their families. 

Additionally, Fairfax County has implemented a “celebration video” to highlight all participating students for each school. Oakton seniors will be able to submit a personalized slide to be featured in the OHS-specific video that will come out at the end of June or early July. 

Third, the possibility of in-person graduation is still available. As of now, the goal would be to have the ceremony in the fall, but decisions will not be announced until Labor Day due to the constantly changing circumstances of the pandemic. If the fall is too premature, FCPS is still open to considering holding such ceremonies in the winter or next spring. 

I have been inspired daily by the Oakton staff. From the moment this started, everyone recognized that it was going to be new and it was going to be a challenge, but I think our staff really came together in this unprecedented time to support our students and to support one another and figure it out. – Ms. Lane 

If you have any ideas or things you would like to see in terms of the photo opportunity, the celebration video, or really anything else, Ms. Lane’s “virtual door is always open!” Also, Oakton has ordered two banners that will be arriving soon with all of the names of the graduating class. The banners will be hung outside of the school; students are encouraged to drop by and take pictures, socially distanced of course! 

The counselors have also been working hard to ensure that the seniors get the recognition they deserve. Many of the counselors have gotten close with the students during their senior year (because of college applications) and want to honor the hard work they put in over the past four years. They have been actively posting messages of support on Google Classroom and talking with parents and students to find a way to make graduation and other senior festivities possible. As the future still seems unclear Ms. Chase-Kang offers words of wisdom for our parting seniors: “Do or do not. There is no try.” – These inspiring words spoken by Yoda represent my message to you, seniors. Go forth with courage, take risks, and be your authentic self. Don’t sit on the sidelines. To all of my baby yodas, May the Force Be with You.”

While specific details for recognition for the seniors are still to be worked out, the administration is working passionately to do everything possible for the Class of 2020. Ms. Lane shared, “I think our staff has done incredible and amazing things,” and expressed her gratefulness for “their true desire to keep that sense of community,” emphasizing the staff is just as upset as the students are.