DORAL, Fla. – Every year, Divine Savior Academy hosts a senior walk where its graduating seniors take one final stroll through campus to say final goodbyes to fellow students, teachers and administrators.
The coronavirus pandemic forced the private Christian school to cancel its annual senior walk event this year. But administrators didn’t want the tradition to go away entirely, so they tried a different way to create a memorable event. The senior walk became the senior roll.
On Thursday morning, nearly 80 seniors lined up in the school’s parking lot in cars decked out with balloons and personalized messages.
Their teachers lined up nearby to cheer them on, while also maintaining their distance.
“I think it’s the best that we can make out of a difficult situation,” Diego Curbelo, a senior, said. “It’s nice to share this experience with my class in the best way possible, considering the circumstances.”
Danielle Weber, the director of public relations at the school, said that because the school is a Pre-K through 12th grade school, many of the students have been part of Divine Savior Academy for their entire learning experience.
"A lot of the students started here when they were really young," Weber said. "The seniors were going through a very sad period, so we wanted to boost their spirits and bring them some joy back into their life."
Fabiana Castro, a senior, said events like this, help bring sense of normalcy — even if the future is still uncertain.
“I’m just really excited because at least we got to do something out of it given the circumstances. You work so hard for twelve years of your life for this moment and it is just kind of gets taken away from you,” Castro said.
Divine Savior Academy students told Local 10′s Trent Kelly that they loved the event and hope that the senior roll becomes a new annual tradition even after the coronavirus crisis is over.