Watch the tribute video Vernon Hills High School principal made to seniors
If the coronavirus outbreak keeps Vernon Hills High School closed to students, there is a real possibility that seniors' final in-school memories will be from March 13. That's the day Principal Jon Guillaume got on the school's public address system and told everyone that learning from home procedures would begin the following Monday.
"It was very abrupt," Guillaume said. "Out of an abundance of caution we didn't even let athletic teams finish practice one last time or let the school play or the band meet for rehearsal.
"Not only did we close, but there was really no closure for them at all."
With that in mind, Guillaume published a video tribute to the senior class Monday morning that has already been viewed and shared hundreds of times.
Guillaume filmed himself writing the name of each senior student on a wall. Once the names were all up, Guillaume painted the word "seniors" over the wall before posing where the "I" in "seniors" would be. The rest of the video features pictures and video clips of seniors.
"They are a great group of kids, an awesome class. They have an abundance of skill and ability," Guillaume said. "I have a sense this could become about me, which is not what I was gunning for. This is really about the 350 seniors at VHHS."
He said he has already heard from many seniors who are grateful for the gesture.
"The kids have been awesome," Guillaume said. "They expressed their sadness but said thanks so much for thinking of us."
Guillaume said there is a chance classes will resume before the summer, but each day spring rolls on is another day of missing out on a normal senior year.
"As a staff," Guillaume said Monday, "we care for them and love them and wish we were all back in school with them right now."