Hurley bringing celebration to graduates
May 14, 2020
By TOM LAVENTURE
Hurley — The Hurley K-12 school staff, parents and first responders are offering curbside congratulations to graduating seniors in lieu of traditional end-of-year events due to the coronavirus pandemic closing the school.
Staff and parents planned to join the Hurley Fire Department, Hurley Police Department and Iron County Sheriff’s Office in a parade of vehicles visiting each Hurley student in front of their home on Wednesday. The “parade” will start again tonight around 5 p.m. when the group visits graduating students homes who live in Saxon, Pence, Montreal and Gile.
Parents will place a yard sign saying “We are the class of 2020,” said Krissy Colassaco, the parent of Tyler Colassaco, a graduating senior who plans to go on to Associated Training Services, a heavy equipment operation school in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.
“The Hurley PTO purchased the signs,” she said.
The parents also took out a “Salute to the Class of 2020” full page ad, she said. Last week the parents purchased 46 student banners for the Hurley Department of Public Works to place on light poles along Silver Street downtown last week — each with a student photo and a message of congratulations.
“It’s just the parents trying to do something to make this time special for the kids,” Colassaco said. “This is one way to let kids know they care about them and make as big a celebration as they can because they know the kids missed out on so much.”
The two days of activity will lead up to separate family appointments for videos and photographs at the school for the virtual graduation ceremony that starts on Friday. The separate videos will be combined into a graduation video with music, speeches and student introductions to be posted online May 23.
“We are committed to continually looking for special and unique ways to honor and support our seniors and the class of 2020,” said Kevin Genisot, Hurley School District administrator.
The school administration will personally deliver and place signs in all senior yards, while being escorted by the law enforcement, firefighters and parents, he said. This was a group initiative that turned into a collaborative event supported by community agencies.
“It’s a special gesture to let the families and seniors know we are constantly thinking about them and wish each one the best as the year comes to an end,” Genisot said.
The fire department has allotted time until 8 p.m. each night but it’s not clear if it will take that long, said Hurley Fire Chief Mike Sejbl.
“The Hurley Fire Department is trying to do whatever it can for the community,” Sejbl said.
The department is offering to be part of birthdays for kids ages 3 to 6 in the city of Hurley, for the duration of the COVID-19 shutdown order. The requests have been steady and the department is very much behind the idea, he said.
“But the high school seniors, I just can’t imagine what they went through, without having their final months as a senior that is hard to imagine, isn’t it?” Sejbl said. “My daughter graduated last year and she said those last few months as a senior are very special.
Some of the classmates won’t see each other again for years and graduation is a chance to say goodbye to them, he said. If this effort helps just a little bit then it’s worth it.
“The fire department is 100% behind it and helping out the community,” Sejbl said.