PARKLAND, FL- The 2020 MSD Senior Class held a huge graduation parade on Saturday morning, and the joy was a palpable feeling in the air. Mothers, fathers, siblings, grandparents, and more celebrated from their socially-distant vehicles, but the camaraderie was everywhere. Smiling faces, "congratulations" signs, balloons, streamers, and more adorned the vehicles while they paraded past Stoneman Douglas High School as students one last time.
One can hardly imagine a more challenging high school career than what this year's seniors have experienced, from the tragedy of 2018 to the Coronavirus impact of 2020. Today's parade was designed to honor the 2020 class and their resilience in the face of adversity.
One MSG graduate, Maddy King, felt the event was especially powerful on a personal level.
“A favorite moment was seeing Mrs. Lippel, who is my true guardian angel, who saved my and many other lives on 2/14/18," said King. King shared that MSD teacher Stacey Lippel "literally saved my life," sustaining a gunshot wound while protecting her students. "If it was not for her quick thinking I would not be lucky enough to be here today. Watching her today blow me a kiss and say I love you is a beautiful memory I will never forget.”
King will attend Cosmix School of Makeup Artistry and begins classes in August. She plans to become a licensed cosmetologist and esthetician.
"Today was very special for us, we are fortunate to have been able to celebrate our graduation with the parade," added King. "It was amazing to sit back and take it all in. I do feel bad to not have had a formal graduation, but this was a nice way to honor the Class of 2020. We did it, I did it!!”
School Board Member Lori Alhadeff, Mayor Christine Hunschofsky, and many more were on hand celebrating the event with the students.
"I am so proud of our MSD 2020 Graduates who are so resilient and nothing will stand in your way to success. Congratulations!" said Alhadeff.
Vice Mayor Bob Mayersohn summarized the event well, saying "today's graduation confirms why our city is so special. This was a collaborative effort of so many, whose common goal was to show their love and support for our graduating seniors. Congratulations, class of 2020."