2019-2020 Recap

2019-2020+Recap

Perhaps one of the most notable moments of the 2019-2020 school year was the end of it, or more specifically, the end of the “traditional school year.” On Friday, March 13th, Livermore High School students went home from school. They would not return for the rest of the year. 

 

Prior to this, however, several more events took place at Livermore High School that affected the student body.

 

The 2019 school year began with a tragedy, after the loss of a member of the LHS junior varsity football team, Emanuel Moseby (12), on July 8. Amongst the pictures of Link Crew members and freshmen at the Freshmen Orientation pinned on the walls of the LHS office, a picture of Moseby was included in memoriam. 

 

Photo courtesy of Principal Gladden.
Emanuel Moseby (12) died following an altercation in the area surrounding the Taco Bell restaurant at 985 E. Stanley Blvd.

Principal Helen Gladden and Vice-Principal Brett Christopher began their positions at LHS after being involved in other areas of the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District for several years. 

 

In addition, Gladden said that that the school witnessed some faculty changes, with the addition of new teachers, Joseph Bennet,  Chad Backsen,  Carrie Cox,  John Buchanuer, Justin Lowell, Caryn Quezada, Jim Maloney, Randy Barnard, Allyson Ortner, and Poornima Shanmugam. Gladden added that April Hansen, Kathy Hallenbeck, Kathy Telford, and Brenda Morris retired as well.

 

The fall sports season was run as usual, with the sports (football, boys and girls water polo, cross country, girls tennis, girls golf, girls volleyball, dance, and cheer) having the ability to complete their seasons without a hitch. James Petersdorf, the LHS athletic director, and boy’s varsity basketball team said that “the football team had a really solid year.”

 

Homecoming court winners were Grace Bargas (10), Jack Prusso (10), Gianna Cenccanti (11), Ryan Demo (11), Cameron Ho (12), Dylan Cole (12), Priya Bhatia (LHS graduate), and Gino Barbalinardo (LHS graduate). The school year was off to a typical start and events at the school were business as usual. 

 

The choirs, band, and orchestra were busy with many rehearsals and preparations for their performances. The students were working diligently on several difficult pieces of music, such as concert choir’s Giá il sole del Gange and jazz band’s Bop of the World.

 

The LHS Powderpuff games were played and the junior class won.

The class of 2021 won the Powderpuff champions.

 During this time, the LHS drama department was rehearsing Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic. The production, which can also be referred to as Puffs, told the story of a few young wizards trying to address the problems they faced in their school of sorcery. Mrs. Hovey, the LHS drama teacher said, “This was a delightful show that definitely had a certain charm for fans of Harry Potter.” In addition, Hovey added that the sound crew members were outside, as the show “had over 600 sound cues to run in each performance.”

 

Halloween came and went and finals followed soon after. The second trimester was underway and the winter sports season kicked off. Athletes on the girls and boys basketball, wrestling, and girls and boys soccer teams performed well but one athlete stood out to Petersdorf. Petersdorf said that for the 2019-2020 sports’ seasons, “Timothy Cowan (11) as a wrestler stuck out.”

 

Students in the music and drama department remain hard at work and the choirs began to look forward to their Christmas caroling event that they would participate in later in the second trimester. 

19-20_Full_Performance_Calendar_ALL_CHOIRS_

The drama department was working on the production for Godspell, which Hovey said is “feel-good musical” centering around the “teachings of Christ in the everyday world. “

 

Clubs were holding meetings and freshmen were invited to attend several events such as a Holiday Movie Night hosted by Link Crew. In addition, many clubs were planning events and holding meetings. The Adventure Club was still hiking, the French Club was continuing to celebrate French culture, and the Science Club was studying the world around us. 

Following the holiday break, students were looking forward to finishing the school year and having more free time. They looked forward to the end of winter and the beginning of spring.

 

In January of 2020, the coronavirus began its trek around the world and suddenly everyone was impacted. On Friday, March 13th, students went home and discussions surrounding the current global events, canceled practices, and canceled rehearsals could be heard as they left for home that day. 

 

This day was when the administration was informed that the school would be moved to distance reading for the time being. Gladden wrote, “We were informed that the school was moving to distance learning within a week or so of the shelter at home order that was put in place on March 13, 2020. This happened, of course, very quickly so teachers had to quickly learn how to teach via an online platform.” Gladden said that the adjustment was difficult but that teachers and administrators had learned quite a bit about how teachers could support the student with their at-home studies.

 

Following the news that they would continue to learn from home, students remained hopeful that they would be able to return to school following spring break. Unfortunately, however, an email was sent by Principal Gladden informing them that this would not be the case.

 

”…LVJUSD is augmenting our distance learning so that students will be more formally engaged in learning essential course standards. For the first three weeks of the shelter-in-place order, our distance learning consisted of Learning Opportunities that were not reflected in the official School Loop gradebook. This has now changed. … This Distance Learning Plan will take effect on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, following Spring Break. Students will be hearing more about this from their teachers after Spring Break.”

 

Students were dismayed as the months dragged on. As the days continued, more events were canceled including club competitions, the senior class trip to Disneyland, Junior Prom and Senior Ball, the spring musical, Joseph & his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and the music department’s plans to perform at Disneyland Park. 

 

Spring sports seasons were canceled as well. Members of the track and field team, boys and girls lacrosse teams, the baseball and softball teams, the swimming and diving team, the stunt cheer team, and the boys tennis team would not be able to play this season. 

 

Petersdorf said that “We initially postponed the seasons until we officially had to cancel them in mid-April. It was not an easy decision for the league or the schools. It was the right thing to do and as we have seen with COVID the smart thing to do. “

 

Hovey said that the drama department has planned to perform the shown for the winter of the 2020-2021 school year. In the meantime, Hovey said that the LHS drama department is planning to present a Verbatim Theatre production as the fall play. The cast began rehearsing on October 1st with the show being planned for release in December.  

 

The 2019-2020 school year ended with online AP exams, graduation that lasted three days in order to ensure that each senior had the chance to walk and remain socially distant, and finals that were taken online over Zoom calls. 

 

The 2019-2020 school was one that will be remembered and recalled in history books. Despite the challenges the school year brought, it showed the students that they have the tenacity and capability to overcome any challenge, a skill that will aid them in life long after their graduations.