2020 Vision: Looking Back at our Legacy

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Photo by Courtesy of Island Photo

Class of 2020 official portrait marks an important milestone of senior year.

2019 is coming to a close and 2020 is rolling in. For seniors, this means coming to terms with the fact that 2020 is the year of our graduation. In about six short months from the start of the year, our time at this school will be drawing to a close.

These are the last six months of normalcy: of participating in our favorite clubs, sports, and activities; of seeing our favorite teachers, advisors, and peers nearly everyday. With all of this, it is the last six months we have to make an impact as the class of 2020. 

When you look up “impact” in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, you will receive the following feedback: Noun. A significant or major effect. Thus, there is little definition in what determines how one thing can be separated from another by being impactful.

Impacts can be broad in their reach. Impacts can also be quiet or narrow in reach. Such is the case with the impact that the class of 2020 will leave behind. No one across the country will have heard about us and our accomplishments. Although, as a class, we have left a legacy in the hearts of those who have taught us, advised us, and in one another. 

Of course, all classes have this effect to some extent.

“From Raider Bowl and leading up to homecoming and then finally homecoming…The floats, the skits, the parade, the game…each year is always special in its own way. Coming up is our Winter Concert series, which will be special for those seniors who are performing for their last December concerts…then will be the All School Musical where there are always pleasant surprises…” noted Dr. Rusielewicz.

“I get to know many students pretty good and like any graduating class, I will miss [the class of 2020] and hope they keep in touch, as I am always proud of them after leaving as if they were my own kids…that’s what makes this school so incredible. Every class is unique in its own way.”

Our class is certainly no exception. As put by Mr. Hoffmann, the class of 2020 Assistant Principal, “When a new class is coming to us as freshmen, you know of course, when you’re gonna be the freshman AP, you want to find out as much as you can about the class that you’re getting. So you know, you talk to the middle school administrators. And what I heard pretty much consistently was that this was a lot of just really nice kids. And I can tell you that other classes just haven’t had that same reputation. And, I always ask also who are gonna be the standouts- the leaders- and I got a lot of names, which was really cool.” 

From the very beginning it was apparent that the class of 2020 was a force to be reckoned with. In fact, at our first homecoming, we received first place for our shirt and float, and a standing of second place overall. For freshmen, due to sheer inexperience, that is not an easy feat. 

“What I found- and I noticed this the first time at float site- the first time I got a chance to meet and get to know the kids, was that a lot of kids kinda already had their act together. As ninth graders, that’s not normal,” explained Mr. Hoffmann.

“Normally, freshmen are the big eyed ones who come into the high school thinking ‘this is gonna be the worst experience of my life.’ I didn’t see that in a majority of the ninth graders I interacted with. There was confidence; kids that knew where they were going and knew what they wanted to be. Knew already who they were. And that held true all the way through.”

“…that’s what makes this school so incredible. Every class is unique in its own way”

— Dr. Rusielewicz

Of course, we may not always have our act together, but it’s nice to know that we appear that way. As put by Sarah Emr, Co-President of the senior class, “I think that we will be most remembered for being the class that almost never had it’s act together but always came together to pull off some fantastic things like our homecoming floats.”

She elaborated that “I feel like a lot of the time our grade is known as the ‘perfect number grade’ but in reality we’re so much more than that. I think we’re going to be remembered as the class that beat the seniors freshman year in homecoming. We’re the grade that is known for having movie fun nights. I think that our trips to broadway our hockey game trips set us apart from other classes. Our grade is full of some amazing students that I feel make our grade truly special.”

Needless to say, some of the success we will be remembered for did not happen overnight.

“In terms of homecoming, our floats were always top of the line. In 9th and 10th grade, our skits were a little rough but we pulled through with some amazing performances 11th and 12th grade, both of which will also absolutely be remembered for years to come,” recounts Co-President PJ Osheske.

“But, I think above all, people will remember 2020 as the class that came together to work above and beyond, while still having a good time. Our homecoming flower parties are some of the most fond memories I have from high school and I know the same is true for many others. Simply put, 2020’s legacy is equal parts hard-work, determination, and one of kindness and lasting bonds.”

Mr. Hoffmann agreed that one of the most prominent traits of the class is our ability to work well together. “For the most part, there was not a lot of drama that I had to get involved in. Everybody seemed to get along. I didn’t see a lot of the little cliques that normally form either, it’s a very big cohesive group, which is the biggest thing I will remember. This group has made my job easier.”

Upon being asked about their experience as our advisors, Mrs. Mars and Mrs.Tirado felt that the class of 2020’s collective work ethic was something that will be remembered for and has set an example for classes to come.

“We had a brief conversation and through that exchange, we discussed two words that really exemplify the class; dedication and determination. Our class officers, executive board, and students involved in Class of 2020 activities are constantly committed to ensuring the success of our various events and fundraisers.The Class of 2020 has also been a constant around the building. You can depend on them on the athletic fields, in the arts, and in the classroom. Their dedication and determination to help their causes succeed are apparent in their representation in after school clubs and community service initiatives. The Class of 2020 always stays until the job is finished. They have left a permanent mark on our hearts and all of those here at Patchogue-Medford High School.” 

There’s little more to say about our class. The class of 2020 truly embodies success. Put best by Mr. Hoffmann, “I love hearing from students that have their act together, you know? And hearing what they want to do with their lives and where they want to go. A lot of times, you have a plan when you’re young, and I like to say life ‘gets in the way’ and changes you. But I’m curious to see from this class because a lot of people have very defined ideas of what their futures are going to be like. This might be the group that proves me wrong and will actually accomplish things they tell me they’re going to.”

So seniors, come June, it is evident that we will be leaving a long-lasting effect on each other, our advisors, and our school as a whole. Yet, rest assured that our success will not end here. It’s time to start leaving our legacies on the rest of the world.