Senior traditions thrown into disarray


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and extension of in-person school cancellation through the end of the academic year, end-of-the-year senior traditions have been shaken up. The state of many of these traditions was shrouded in uncertainty with the constantly changing status of the pandemic. However, throughout these trying times, students and staff worked to fulfill the senior traditions in some shape or form.

Moving to Social Media

One of the most popular senior traditions over the years has been the ABC countdown: a 26-day festivity. Each day, seniors wear clothes to reflect a different theme at school which go from A-Z until the end of the year. Some of these themes include “beach day”, “denim day” and “emo-girl/boy day.” 

The cancellation of school has not prevented some seniors from participating in the countdown at home. On Instagram, in part through the account @seniorabccountdown2020, seniors have posted pictures of themselves continuing to keep the senior spirit alive by participating in the themed days. 

“It’s really kind of inspiring to see that during these rough times there are still students that want to enjoy these last couple of months as seniors,” said senior Emma Bloom, who participated in the ABC countdown via her Instagram story.

Another senior tradition has found a transition to Instagram as well. Decision Day, which was to be recognized on May 1, is a celebration of the seniors and their future endeavors. During this day, seniors typically sport apparel from the colleges they are planning on attending or that reflects other aspects of their futures. None of the festivities of this day could take place on a standard school day this year due to the circumstances. 

However, Decision Day shifted to the virtual world, where all seniors’ future passions and colleges can be celebrated. 

“My friends and I were talking about setting up the Instagram account,” recalled senior Rachel Bond who was referring to the Instagram account, @lvilleseniors2020. The account, created by senior Margaret Buchert, highlights each senior and their future college or career choice. A typical post from the account includes a picture of a student beside a logo of their college or career choice.

“A bunch of people started following [the account] and then I told my friends that they should send me their [decision information] so I could post it,” said Buchert. The account has become very popular among seniors on Instagram and currently has more than 200 posts of members of the LHS Class of 2020 and their decisions. 

Furthermore, LHS staff and the CRC will have a virtual “Zoom Decision Day” on Wednesday, May 13. The event will celebrate all seniors and their future decisions. 

Bloom strongly believes that “[the] Class of 2020 is very creative in how they use their social media to do things like Decision Day or the ABC countdown.” 


The status of prom remained a giant question mark among staff and students for weeks, but during the “Junior Class Meeting” on April 27, Principal Dr. Tom Koulentes announced “that Prom 2020 is officially cancelled.” TOriginally set for April 25, Dr. Koulentes noted that he and the Student Council worked very hard to try to reschedule a traditional prom. Despite their efforts, obstacles continued to build up, which prevented them from rescheduling the event. Some of these obstacles included lack of available venues, limited catering services and very few transportation options.

With that being said, Dr. Koulentes, during a “Senior Virtual ‘Town Hall’ Meeting” on April 16, talked about an end-of-the-year event for the seniors. The event would be less formal than prom while still attempting to capture the spirit of prom. This “Senior Party or Celebration,” as stated by Dr. Koulentes, would be hosted on the Libertyville High School campus. The “bash” could range anywhere from being in the style of school dance — such as homecoming — or being an informal party. 

Some other aspects of the bash include a potential plan for the seniors to go to Six Flags: Great America following the event. Furthermore, since the event would be held in Libertyville, local vendors could be used to support the party, which could be a major help to the small businesses of Libertyville. 

“As long as I can wear my prom dress, I am totally okay with it,” said Bond when asked about the senior bash idea. “The location doesn’t really matter as long as I see everyone and hang out with everyone.”


Another major discussion point of Dr. Koulentes’s virtual meeting with seniors was graduation. Dr. Koulentes had “two tracks,” as he called them, for planning graduation. 

The first track involved graduation occurring as scheduled on May 21 if school were to commence on May 1 — as was formerly planned. However, this plan was rendered irrelevant the day following the virtual meeting when Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker made a public announcement that schools would be cancelled for in-school instruction for the remainder of the academic year. 

With this, track two will most likely be the course of action for graduation. The goal is to hold a traditional, live ceremony for graduation. According to Dr. Koulentes, the school already has three additional dates set aside at the Sears Centre for graduation over the summer: June 21, July 12 and July 26. Dr. Koulentes would later state the July 26 date as the most likely of the three. 

According to Dr. Koulentes, the Sears Centre does have plans for social distancing measures during a potential ceremony. 

Dr. Koulentes also noted that “all options are open.” This includes options for a potential virtual graduation or a graduation on the football field at LHS.

Bloom stated that “having the reassurance of graduation is very reassuring during these hard times.”