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LC-M brings smiles to Seniors with signs; graduation ceremony still a waiting game

By Van Wade

It’s been a struggle for real for high school seniors across the state of Texas during the COVID-19 pandemic for over a month now.

So many of them were pondering whether or not they would be able to attend prom, swing the bat, speed down the track and doing a great performance in the UIL One-Act play or even if they will get a chance to walk across a stage and get that important high school diploma.

Well, with the exception of the last item that remains up in the air with possible graduation dates, everything else was basically swiped away from the 2020 Senior Class when Governor Greg Abbott announced last Friday that all schools would be closed throughout the remainder of the school year. Students across the state will finish out the school year with the Flexible Education Program from home.

Though many of their senior memories will be cut short, schools and administrations continue to put forth a positive vibe to make sure their senior classes are remembered.

That’s definitely the case for Little Cypress-Mauriceville seniors as most of them were surprised to see signs placed in their yards that says “LC-M Class of 2020, We Love Our Seniors” in the green and gold school colors. The deliveries started early Friday and carried on through the weekend with some still being delivered early this week.

“This was such a tremendous idea,” said LC-M CISD Superintendent Stacey Brister. “Our administrators wanted to do something special for such a great class. They are missing so much now, and it feels awesome to put so many smiles on so many great faces, they deserve it.”

The idea came from Student Activities Director Stacey Smith.

“Stacey is always coming up with great ideas to interest our students but this one may be the best one yet,” said Brister. “She got the idea from a student council group from another school and things took off from there. She was so busy getting it going and making sure they were getting distributed.”

Michael Rideout, the Little Cypress Intermediate principal is the one who designed the signs.

“Michael has a graphic designs background and it really showed,” said Brister. “They’re really amazing looking and with great detail. I know he’s super-proud about it.”

LC-M High School principal Ryan DuBose, who always has his ‘Joke of the Day’ to inspire students, was one of those that delivered the signs throughout a slew of areas making sure that a senior’s day was brightened.

“Ryan is awesome and he’ll do anything to uplift kids,” said Brister. “So many people were involved in this from administrators to teachers. I’m just so proud because they spent their Spring Break putting all of that together. It’s special to work with so many special people that care so much about all of the kids.”

LC-M students and teachers are back to business again this week with the Flexible Education Program.

“I don’t want anyone to think that a computer or a packet replaces a great teacher and I feel people across the board with their kids are finding that out through all of this,” said Brister. “It’s managing what we’re doing for the time being and it has worked as well as it possibly can.”

There are always a few kinks in everything.

“You know there are a lot of kids that don’t have internet access that don’t have quite as much communication with their teachers,” said Brister. “On computers, you’re able to see your teachers in different kinds of formats, which is awesome. Some just communicate through cell phones and such, which can be tough at times, but we’re getting through it and making it work.”

There are so many other items on the agenda that superintendents, administrators, teachers and coaches have to ponder as they wait to see what happens in the near future, including a graduation ceremony. Recent LC-M classes have graduated at the Montagne Center at the Lamar University campus, but Lamar has shut down campus facilities through the summer.

“We definitely want to have a graduation ceremony and I’ve been talking to a lot of superintendents from Region 5 on different ideas,” said Brister. “Honestly, I think we will know how we can make it possibly possible by around April 30 with more information because there are so many factors involved. The kids deserve it and so do their parents and family. It may be done in a different way than ever before, but we’d love to see it happen We think we will know more by the end of the month, we just don’t to put out any false hope.”

Brister said the senior student body already has an idea of their own.

“They really came out with the idea of having graduation May 20, 2020 at 8:20,” said Brister. “It’s just all about the waiting game now. We are all in limbo right know because we’re going to adhere what our governor says along with a her tremendous local leaders.”

Brister can’t wait to see things return to normal with so many things still up in the air, especially with all of the plans the schools have in the summer.

“There are so many things that we have organized for the summer,” said Brister. “There are all the sports camps for kids of all ages. Kids like to come up to school and work out. Band kids like to come up and practice and get ready for the upcoming year. Teachers want to get back in their classrooms and get prepared. There is so many logistics to all of this and we’ve got to have a plan, especially, let’s say, there is still a lot of social distancing involved.”

Brister is proud to say that the LC-M district is ready for anything it has to face.

“I’m just so proud of what our teachers, students and parents have done through all of this,” said Brister. “The patience and understanding has been great. Our teachers are truly a blessing and they continue to meet the needs of our kids and them, along with me look forward to the day when this particular challenge is behind us.”