Carson High Class of 2020 proudly featured on downtown banners |

Carson High Class of 2020 proudly featured on downtown banners

By Ronni Hannaman
CHS 2020 graduate Gabi Avina stands under the banner sporting her photo

Those who have been traveling along the downtown section of Carson Street since July 22 will have noticed the many young faces on the colorful banners now gracing our light poles.

Those faces belong to graduates of Carson High whose parents elected to honor their 2020 graduate in this most public and unusual manner allowing the citizens of Carson to honor them as well.

Due to the COVID-19 mandated shutdown of schools at a time when the countdown to graduation began, the Class of 2020 missed all the traditional CHS senior class events. There was no prom, no class party, no class trip to Six Flags.

The only long-time tradition they were able to carry forward was the rearranging of the rocks on C-Hill to spell 2020.

Understanding the disappointment felt by their soon-to-be graduates, CHS parents began to explore ways to publicly honor the Class of 2020. Led by the always passionate Molly Walt, parent of CHS 2020 graduates Kaden and Chloe, CHS parents were asked via a closed and open Facebook page and a number of mailings to weigh in on how this year’s graduation experience could be made memorable.

Suggestions began coming forth such as decorating the front door of the student’s home and posting a yard sign to honor the graduate with the most dramatic recognition centered on placing photo banners on the downtown light pole signs maintained by the visitor’s bureau that were ready to be changed.

Knowing the $130 cost per banner could be a barrier in gaining participation for the project, Walt reached out to possible donors and the all-volunteer board of Carson High Safe Grad that had been organized in 1988 to provide students with safe non-alcohol graduation events.

As they do every year, Safe Grad came through and through their generous participation, the cost to order a sign was reduced to a $28 donation or free if there seemed to be a financial barrier. Of the 446 graduates of the Class of 2020, 120 parents chose to participate.

As you walk through our beautiful downtown core, be sure to stop to salute each of these future leaders who will someday continue to make Carson City the awesome community it is today thus joining the past and present elected officials nationally and locally whose credentials include being a graduate of a school producing the leaders of tomorrow.

The Carson City Chamber joins in honoring the Carson High School Class of 2020 and wishes them a successful tomorrow. You have made us #CarsonProud!

Ronni Hannaman is the Executive Director of the Carson City Chamber of Commerce.