Friday, June 19, 2020

Raymond banners pay tribute to town’s graduating seniors

Raymond honored 2020 high school
graduates from the town by putting
up 49 banners recognizing their
academic achievements.
By Ed Pierce

It was a year like no other in history for high school students this year, but a kind gesture has lifted spirits and inspired some lasting memories for 49 graduating seniors from the Town of Raymond.

Starting on the weekend following graduation, motorists driving through town on Route 302 found individual banners containing the names of all 49 of the town’s graduating seniors affixed to light posts throughout Raymond.

During a recent Raymond Select Board meeting, a proposal was made to do something different this year to recognize graduates from the town after traditional rites of passage for graduating seniors such as the Senior Prom and the annual commencement ceremony were scrapped as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.

“We felt these graduates needed something after everything that’s happened in the past few months because of the coronavirus,” said Teresa Sadak of the Raymond Select Board. “And we wanted it to be for all graduating seniors from our town and not just those who graduated from Windham High School. We first looked at having signs made, but signs seemed rather ordinary. The banners were a better idea and the select board members agreed.”
In all, the town had 51 sturdy vinyl banners produced by Time4Printing in Windham, with the two additional signs saluting the Class of 2020 placed on utility poles on Route 302 near the town lines with Casco and Windham entering Raymond.

Names of the graduates were confirmed by town officials and then double-checked to ensure that they were spelled properly prior to the production process. It only took Time4Printing employees about week to create the banners and then give them to the town to be unfurled on graduation weekend. 

“These young people are indeed our future and they have worked 12 or 13 years to reach this point in school,” Sadak said. “It’s just a shame that they had to go through this and miss so many school activities before their graduation. This small gesture by the town is intended to show them that we have noticed all of their hard work to get to where they are today and we wanted to honor and recognize them with something they would always remember.”

Sadak said that once everyone has had a chance to view the banners, they will be given to each of the 49 graduates in recognition of their academic accomplishments in high school.
“They didn’t have a prom or even got to experience Senior Day,” Sadak said. “This is our way of saying congratulations to them and to show our town’s gratitude and appreciation for their achievement.”

Sadak said feedback she’s received for the effort has been entirely positive.

“The parents have told me how proud they are and have been very grateful to see this recognition,” she said. “One of the 49 graduates attended Oxford High School and she was amazed that she was honored in this way by us.”

According to Sadak, the fiberglass and aluminum mounts for the banners will be stored for use again in Raymond in the future.

“We could use them for holiday banners, for election banners or any variety of purposes,” she said. <

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