The Class of 2020 Found New Ways to Connect during Lockdown
Senior spring is always a bittersweet period of growth, transition and goodbyes. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the Class of 2020 was unable to celebrate their hard work, friendships and future as a class. Yet through new avenues online, the seniors found ways to cherish one another and their King’s experience. The Class of 2020 embodied the King’s Academy ethos of creating bridges across difference and distance, and rising to challenges by turning them into opportunities for growth and connection.
March 12, 2020 was a turning point for the senior class, King’s Academy and the population of Jordan.
That Thursday started out like any other, though a relaxed attitude permeated the King’s Academy campus as students, teachers and staff looked forward to the coming Spring Break. The senior class pulled off an elaborate, fun prank: sneaking hundreds of plastic balls into the Student Union, creating a ball pit that even then-Dean of Students Julianne Puente jumped into.
As students and faculty walked to the Abdul Majeed Shoman Auditorium for School Meeting, a noticeable shift filled the air. A massive dust storm was rolling in, turning the sky a deep orange. Early dismissal was announced. Increasing wind blew grains of sand into open eyes and mouths, making the few community members who happened to have a face mask put it on — in retrospect, a portent of what was to come.
That Thursday was the last that the 2019-2020 King’s Academy community would share together. On March 14, the government announced that schools, borders and airports were to be closed, and public gatherings banned in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The King’s campus closed to non-residents, and all aspects of student life moved online — including pivotal moments in the senior spring experience such as prom and graduation.
Suddenly isolated from their peers and friends when the country moved to implement a total lockdown, a group of seniors virtually got together to find a way to celebrate the climax of their time at King’s. And thus, “Seniors vs. 2020” was born.
“During my time at King’s, I’ve always felt this anticipation at the back of my mind as I approach my senior year of high school,” says Ayesh Awad in the first episode of “Seniors vs. 2020,” a five-part short video series made by and for the Class of 2020.
“We made a series for the senior year that we didn’t really experience. Something to look back on in five, 10 or even 20 years.”
Each of the episodes approaches a different aspect of the senior experience: from memories of the first days at King’s, to the emotional toll of the college process and navigating decision results, to faculty members reminiscing about what made this class special.
The 14 seniors involved in the project reached out to every member of the senior class in interviews conducted by Zoom, highlights of which are featured in the YouTube series. In the final episode, “Last Day?”, students were asked to describe their King’s experience in one word. You can view the video by scanning this QR code.
Seniors vs. 2020 committee
- Ayesh Awad
- Haya AlMajali
- Tala Alshathry
- Noredeen Al-Zu’bi
- Ahmad Al-Zu’bi
- Jad Bataha
- Tala Fakhoury
- Suhaib Hamadeh
- Seokhyeon Hong
- Salam Karadsheh
- Banah Khamis
- Zeid Mustafa
- Ghayda Obeidat
- Hannah Szeto