Seminole County high schools honor seniors with stadium lights

Seminole County High Schools honored the class of 2020 by turning on each schools' football stadium lights Monday night. 

Winter Springs High School turned on its stadium lights at 8:20 p.m. (20:20 military time) for 20 minutes.

They chose Monday because it fell on April 20.

The school also stenciled "2020" on its football field.

Principal Pete Gaffney said he first saw the idea done in a school district in Texas.

"I brought the idea to Seminole County Public schools and the other public school principals, and we thought it was a fantastic idea and just ran with it," he said. "It's just to signify support for all the seniors in Seminole County schools."

The display comes after Florida Governor Ron Desantis announced the rest of the 2020 school year would continue at home through online distance learning.

High school seniors all over Florida were disappointed to learn they would miss big events like prom, senior nights and even bigger milestones like graduation.

Drone photo by David Pratt (Winter Springs High School)

"Last year, we won states for softball, so this year was a chance to get another ring, maybe bring back another title, and it got cut short," lamented one senior student. 

"I've been looking forward to it for so long," said another.

"These seniors have spent their entire elementary, middle school and high school careers waiting for this year. To graduate, to walk across that stage, get that diploma and go on to bigger and better things," said Principal Gaffney.

Fortunately, the Seminole County School District has selected dates later in the summer to hold dances and graduation ceremonies so seniors don't miss out.

One set of dates is in June.

If social distancing guidelines are extended, they have also selected possible dates in July.

"I'm happy they're still trying to do something for us," said Winter Springs senior Kennedi Gaton.