Best of Louisville
The 2020 High School Graduating Class

We dedicated last year’s Best of Louisville to the 2020 class of local high school seniors, and our summer issue included interviews with almost 400 of them. Here’s what they had to say when we checked back in almost a year later.

— Josh Moss

Last year, I asked this question: “If you could have a traditional ending to your senior year of high school, but you had to start over from the beginning of the school year, would you do it?” How would you answer now?


Yes: 48%; No: 40%; Not sure: 12%


Yes: 28%; No: 64%; Not sure: 8%

When you think back to the beginning of the pandemic, what specific moment or memory stands out?

“I was only able to see my friends socially distanced at a park. I hated not getting to hug everyone.” Lydia Holland, Assumption grad, University of Cincinnati student


“The 2020 NCAA tournament being canceled. It was the first big event I had been looking forward to that was officially gone.” — Megan Osting, Sacred Heart grad, Xavier University student


“The day I walked out of my high school for the last time, I remember thinking: This would be cheesy — if we’re not coming back. And then I left. I would later think of this moment as both prescient and overwhelmingly sad.” — Maddie Stokes, Sacred Heart grad, University of Virginia student


“I was working at Outback as a hostess. On the TV, Donald Trump announced that the country would be closing off flights in and out of Europe for 30 days.” — Willow Harpole, Ballard grad, Morehead State University student


“I remember going out with some friends to eat dinner at McDonald’s. It was our first pandemic outing in a parking lot — with many to follow.” — Joseph Falcon, Shawnee grad, Centre College student


“Getting the call that my senior baseball season was over. A moment all athletes wait and hope for was stripped from us spring athletes.” — Stephen Ruddy, Martha Lane Collins grad (Shelbyville), works as a technician for the U.S. Navy


“Never in a million years did I imagine my graduation in my living room. While it was upsetting at the time, I’m proud of myself now. I’m excited to tell my kids how I graduated high school at home in the middle of a pandemic.” — Kirsten Butler, Manual grad, Western Kentucky University student


“I was a class officer, and we had a meeting after school that day — March 13 — to try to figure out some contingency plan in case events had to be postponed or canceled. The last thing I remember from that day was saying goodbye to my fellow officers. Patrick, the president, asked us all, ‘Do you think we’ll be back?’ At the time, I was so sure that we would. I took one last look at the building I called home for four years, not knowing that I wouldn’t get to enter it again for the remainder of my senior year.” — Aanika Garre, Manual grad, University of Cincinnati student


“When we all thought we would only be out of school for three weeks, instead of one, for spring break. Everyone thought it was so weird that they were canceling school for a virus.” — Kayden Rapson, Jeffersontown grad, University of Kentucky student


“The huge decline in passengers at the airport, as well as the canceled flights. The airport was like a ghost town.” — Graham Waggener, Martha Lane Collins grad (Shelbyville), U of L student who works for AvFlight (Allegiant Airlines)


“I honestly kinda miss the beginning of the pandemic. Life was so much simpler. We all didn’t know how long it would last, so we did what we could with the online learning and Zoom calls. I had never felt so close to my family and friends. I had a routine that I stuck to every day, and it was nice not to feel like you were missing out on anything because literally nothing was happening around the world. Everyone was so connected throughout the beginning of the pandemic, despite living in isolation.” — Zayne Isom, Manual grad, Northern Kentucky University student


“The time I found out that the last weekend of my last senior show, Peter and the Starcatcher, was canceled. Right about 4:30 p.m. March 10.” — Camden Hardesty, Floyd Central grad (Floyds Knobs, Indiana), Indiana State University student


“I remember how I didn’t say bye to my friends that last day in school. I just shouted a quick ‘see ya later.’” — Maura Maguire, Presentation Academy grad, currently working at the Louisville Zoo and taking JCTC online classes

What do you wish more people understood right now? "Colleges are charging us full price for a half-full experience." — Willow Harpole, Ballard grad, Morehead student

What’s the best day or moment you’ve had during the pandemic?

“I successfully completed a play at Murray State during the pandemic, wearing two masks onstage and socially distancing between actors. It was a complicated process at first but an amazing experience once it all came together. It made me realize that, even though this pandemic makes things harder, nothing is impossible.” — Olivia Beach, Ballard grad, Murray State student


“I haven’t really had a specific day, but pretty much any day that I’m able to actually do something or be somewhere that I wasn’t able to be or do before feels really good.” — Sierra Waggoner, Jeffersonville grad, Purdue student


“Being able to meet my WKU dance teammates in person for the first time in July. We had been practicing on Zoom, but there was no better feeling than being together on campus.” — Tori Minteer, Ballard grad, Western Kentucky student

What’s the most difficult day or moment you’ve had during the pandemic?

“The only difficult days I’ve had with the pandemic were the busy days at Kroger when just about every man, woman and their baby were asking for toilet paper. I doubt they’d find it in the dairy department.” — Justin Riggs, Silver Creek (Sellersburg) grad, Ball State student

What part of your new routine from the past year will you continue?

“I message people when I think about them.” — Maura Maguire, Presentation Academy grad, JCTC student, working at the Louisville Zoo


“I got really good at making coffee at home. I will keep working on my barista skills instead of buying coffee all the time.” — Minteer


“More hand-washing.” — Austin Arroyo, Fairdale grad, Eastern Kentucky student

How has the past year changed you? "I have sincerely learned to appreciate every small thing that happens. I recall on Tuesday getting overexcited because, for the first time in a long time, I was given a written test. It wasn't online. It was written! Which means paper was printed out and I had to physically fill in the answers." — Camden Hardesty, Floyd Central grad, Indiana State student
And here's what they had to say last year...

Canceled sports seasons. Canceled proms. Canceled graduations. Canceled EVERYTHING.


Here’s how Jessica Baird, who graduated from Jeffersontown, summed up the end of the 2020 school year: “I’m sorry to every senior out there. With so many other bad things going on, seniors aren’t able to mourn as much as they want. I know that seniors feel selfish complaining about what they missed out on when there is a global pandemic, but it really is sad for us and these problems are real. We are missing out on a lot.”


Back in May 2020, Riley Warren, who was getting ready to graduate from Assumption, said, “My biggest fear is that this class will just slip through the cracks and not get the honor and recognition we all deserve.”


That’s why we dedicated last year’s annual Best of Louisville to the 2020 class of high school seniors. They deserved it.


From May 2 through the last day of school (and, yeah, actually a little into June for a handful of procrastinators), we attempted to interview every single high school senior in Jefferson County and surrounding counties, including our friends across the river. Almost 400 of them answered our questions about quarantine, the last day of school, what comes next and so much more. In addition to portraits, we asked each of them to send us a photo that reminds them of happier times.


So hats — err, graduation caps — off to all of you.


We’ll let Zoe Simmons, who graduated from Iroquois High School, take it from here:


“To the class of 2020: WE DID IT.”

“Performing at my last marching band competition. We left as grand champions.” — A’Nyah Jones, Male

“Performing at my last marching band competition. We left as grand champions.” — A’Nyah Jones, Male

What emoji reflects the current moment?

“The mind-blown emoji.” — Riley Warren, Assumption


“The emoji with the sad watery eyes.” — London Camba, Manual


“The crying emoji and the one where you can see all of the teeth.” — Emily Renco, Collegiate


“The one with the grimacing face does an amazing job conveying exactly how much this all sucks, but had a lighter feel to it than the crying emoji, almost in a joking manner. I feel like we’ve all been trying to keep our spirits up despite everything, and the grimace does that whilst still acknowledging just how awful this
all is.” — Sophie Weber, Jeffersonville


“The one for when things aren’t going well but you’re like everything’s fineeeeeee.” — Michaela Campbell, Floyd County (Floyds Knobs)


“One that is sad, irritated or happy — or all three rolled into one.” — Victoria Carroll, Bullitt East/Riverview Opportunity Center/JCTC


😂 has just the right amount of ambiguity. Is it laughing or is it breaking down into tears? Only time will tell.” — Nell Rydzewski, Sacred Heart


🙏😭🥺 for the hard but unforgettable sacrifice to save others.” — Phillip Cherry, Phoenix School of Discovery


🦦 The otter because we’re all just floating.” — Madeline (Maddie) Stokes, Sacred Heart


“Throw up.” — Tiana Sutton, Male


“I honestly don’t think I can wrap up this full moment in just one emoji. I am so much closer than I ever have been with my family, I have learned new ways to stay in touch with my friends when we can’t be together, and I have had time to reflect on myself. All of these things are good and make me feel proud of the progress I’ve made, but it was not a decision I made on my own. COVID-19 forced me into the situation and I wasn’t prepared. Although I love my family, they are driving me a bit crazy and
I’m sure they’d say the same about me. I only recently discovered how touch-starved I was and I am not somebody who is touchy often anyway.” — Kennet Clark, Ballard

And here’s every single emoji the students submitted:

😊😢😢😫😕😊😊✌️✌🏾🌀🌎🌓🤯😭😁🌞👀👎👩‍🎓👩🏽‍💻👹💔💔💕💩📉🗿🤑🤓🥱😢🤔🤔🤕🤖🤗🤞🏼🤠🤠🤦🤦‍♀️🤦🏽‍♀️🤦🏾‍♀️🤧🤧🤪🤪🤪🤪😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤯😷🤭🤮🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♂️🤷🏽‍♂️🤷🏾‍♂️😴🥰🥰🥰🥰💓🥰😢🥱🥱🥳🥳🥳🥳🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥴🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺😔😆👏🙄🤦‍♀️🦠🦠🦠🦷🧐🧚‍♀️👑💖✨😁😅😆😊😊😌😌😌😎😎😎😏😏🤓🧐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😐😑😒😒😒😒😒😒😓😓😓😓😓😔😔😔😔😔😔😔😔😔😔😔😔❤️😕😕😕😕😕😕😕😕😕😕😕😕😕😕😕😕😕🤩🥳🤩😖😙💥😝😞😞😞😞😞😞💔😔😣😟😠😢😢😢😢😢😢😢🎓😢😕🥱🤦🏻‍♀️😢😭👩🏽‍🎓💔😣😤😤😤😥😥😥😦😦😧😧😩😩😪😪😫😬😬😬😰😭😭😭😭😭💔😭😭😭😭😭😡😡😡😡😡😰😰😳😳😳😳😭😴😴😴😴😶😶😶😶😶😷😷😷😷😷😷😷😷😷😷😷😷😷😷😷😷😷😷😷😷🙁🙁🙁🙁🙁🙂🙂🙂🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃 🙄🙄🙈🙊🤯🥺😷🙏🛸

Your quarantine nickname, according to New York Magazine art critic Jerry Saltz, is how you feel right now + the last thing you ate out of the cupboard.

“Annoyed Fruit Roll-Up.” — Julianna Polichetti, Bullitt East


“Distraught Applesauce.” — Kennedy Wilson, Manual


“Enraged Popcorn.” — Brady Dixon, Eastern


“Frustrated Hot Pocket.” — Jordan Gaines, Jeffersontown


“Irritable Reese’s.” — Sarah Berna, Silver Creek (Sellersburg)


“Lonely Oatmeal.” — Tabitha Robinson, Assumption


“Melancholy Froot Loops.” — Sophiya Geary, Ballard


“Nostalgic Ziti.” — Sam Adams, Manual


“Pissed Pop-Tart.” — Madison Tarter, Eastern


“Tired Mashed Potatoes.” — Jacoby Mask, Western

Most common adjectives (in order):

1) Tired; 2) Bored; 3) Sad; 4) Happy; 5) Stressed

Others: exhausted, groggy, goofy, mad, indifferent, disappointed, blah, meh, relaxed, lazy, annoyed, anxious, OK, apathetic, bittersweet, speechless, unmotivated, conflicted, content, mellow, creative, hopeful, defeated, empty, overwhelmed, excited, bummed, chill, etc.


Some of the items from the cupboard: Cadbury Mini Eggs, Cheez-It, Cheetos, Animal Crackers, Goldfish, Nutella, Pringles, ramen (lots and lots of ramen).

“I played Peter in Peter Pan, and, yes, I dyed my hair green for it.” — Alexandra Rapp, Mercy

Maura Maguire, Presentation
Maura Maguire, Presentation

“I couldn’t get a picture of it, but I miss Ballard’s track. Made so many memories there.” — David Young, Ballard

If you could only watch one movie during quarantine, what would it be?

“If I had to pick one it would definitely be Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. My face mask actually is Deathly Hallows-patterned.” — Lauren Weaver, Manual


Shrek. He was able to quarantine better than anyone if we are being honest here.” — Joclyn Ragland, Crawford County (Marengo)


“My criteria’s very simple: anything but Contagion.” — Nell Rydzewski, Sacred Heart


“The new Scoob! movie makes me happy and reminds me of my childhood spent watching Scooby-Doo on TV.” — Holly O’Donald, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs)


“I know it would be one that would take my mind far away, one where science and fantasy blend together, politics are different and there is more to explore than a house where you’re quarantining.” — Kennet Clark, Ballard


“My mom and I have watched Waiting to Exhale at least once per week.” — Ryane Jones, Sacred Heart


“Something about the medical world and/or people overcoming hardships and becoming what they want to be. I’m motivated to become the best RN I can be.” — Octavia Robinson, Waggener


Mulan or any Disney movie because I love singing along.” — Andrea Licona Leiva, Southern


“I found Star Wars. And, man, I was missing out.” — Addison Evers, Manual


“Can it be a TV channel instead? Because: Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.” — Laura Hood, Assumption


Most common answers: 10 Things I Hate About You, Avengers: Endgame, Back to the Future, Coco, Forrest Gump, Good Wil Hunting, Harry Potter movies, High School Musical movies, Knives Out, Love & Basketball, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Star Wars movies, Step Brothers, Twilight movies

“This is the day my sister and I met our favorite singer, Shawn Mendes, in Nashville.” — Katie Cooper, Presentation

If you could only watch one TV show during quarantine, what would it be?

“I don’t think Carole Baskin from Tiger King actually killed her husband. But imagine if she DID.” — Laine Hirn, Manual


Star Trek: Voyager centers around a crew stranded years away from home and isolated from everyone and everything they knew.” — Natalie Paige Ambrosino, Assumption


“My favorite anime, Fairy Tail. If I can’t explore then I might as well watch other people explore for me!” — Heather Allen, Manual


“I’ve been re-watching Queer as Folk for the third time, which is definitely the last show you’d expect a teen in 2020 to know about.” — Morgan (May) Willcox, Manual


“Now let’s talk strategy. If we are going purely based on my favorite show right now, it would be Outer Banks, but that only has 10 episodes. That wouldn’t last very long, so maybe something like Criminal Minds? Plenty of seasons, a lot of watch time.” — Maura Maguire, Presentation


“Well, since I’ve used this quarantine to watch the entire 15-season series Criminal Minds, I’m gonna go with Criminal Minds.” — Alaina Pignato, Ballard


Doctor Who because it is the longest-running TV show, meaning I would never run out of episodes.” — Kennet Clark, Ballard


Survivor. This past season’s finale was in the middle of quarantine, then my sisters and I started watching some past seasons.” — Susannah Sowell, Oldham County


“Michael Scott, Ron Swanson and Dwight Schrute — their lives in quarantine would be absolutely hysterical.” — Levi Shinabery, Highlands Latin


“One thing I couldn’t live without during quarantine? My family. And then probably Dance Moms.” — Caroline Frederick, St. Francis

Top 10 (in order):

Outer Banks, Grey's Anatomy, Criminal Minds, The Office, Avatar: The Last Airbender, The Vampire Diaries, Parks and Recreation, Friends, Law & Order: SVU, All American, New Girl, Supernatural
Lian McKernan, Manual
Lian McKernan, Manual

“Manual beat St. X for the first time in 23 years. The game was in the rain, and it was so cold, but it was so fun cheering on the team and was so exciting when we won.” — Annie Michael, Manual

What’s on your pandemic playlist?

“Lots of sad songs. Mostly Adele.” — Brady Dixon, Eastern


“Lots of lo-fi hip-hop remixes to video game and movie soundtracks.” — Elena Jolly, Manual 


“One Direction and classical music. An odd pairing, but that’s my go-to for comfort.” — Heather Allen, Manual 


“Rainy-day-type music — not too sad, not too happy, pretty chill.” — Joseph Falcon, Shawnee


“Lot of Harley Poe, the Homeless Gospel Choir (described as an ‘acoustic horror folk rock band with punk influences’). I was supposed to see them in the spring. Obviously that did not end up happening.” — Chloé Hill, Manual 


“My sister and I made a playlist called ‘Love in the Time of Corona,’ which features such hard-hitting social-distancing anthems as ‘Work from Home’ by Fifth Harmony and ‘Kiss Me Thru the Phone’ by Soulja Boy.” — Nell Rydzewski, Sacred Heart


“Songs from the early 2000s that I forgot but still know every word to.” — Shannon Bradley, Manual 


“I’ve been listening to a bunch of oldies, songs from the 1940s and ’50s. They give me a sense of nostalgia, even though I was nowhere near alive back then.” — Casey Weaver, Manual 


“‘Don’t Stand So Close to Me’ by The Police. 😉— Sophie Weber, Jeffersonville 


“So much ’80s and even more ABBA. Thank god for those Swedish disco saints.” — Lorena Powell-Apestegui, Manual

Favorite restaurant for carryout?

“Olive Garden has the best lasagna and baked ziti. Combine that with Cheesecake Factory’s Godiva cheesecake and you are guaranteed to be full for the next 24 hours.” — Riley Warren, Assumption


“Denny’s. Always Denny’s.” — Aly Porter, Moore


“Joella’s. Chicken and waffles is my weakness.” — Dylan Mears, Ballard

“My school’s courtyard. As a special privilege, seniors got to eat lunch out here. When the weather is warm, it feels so nice outside.” — Riley Warren, Assumption

Top 10 (in order):

Chick-fil-A, Texas Roadhouse, El Nopal, Qdoba, Olive Garden, Taco Luchador, Roosters, Buffalo Wild Wings, Dragon King's Daughter, Joella's
Joseph Falcon, Shawnee
Joseph Falcon, Shawnee

“This sunrise picture reminds me of happy times because I took it on the last day of school. I didn’t know it would be my last day at Assumption, but the sunrise reminds me that nothing lasts forever and that things will be OK.” — Lydia Holland, Assumption

Chloe Walrad, Highlands Latin
Chloe Walrad, Highlands Latin

Which Louisville restaurant will you eat at first once they reopen?

“Highland Coffee because I miss getting my usual herbal tea latte with a chocolate croissant. I used to go with my friend every Monday before school.” — London Camba, Manual 


“Burger Boy. Their fries are to DIE for.” — Lauren Weaver, Manual 


“I’ve never had a Hot Brown, so my family and I are going to go to the Brown Hotel to eat Hot Browns.” — Ruby Jost, Brown 


“O’Shea’s in the Highlands. My sister and I are literally the only people I’ve ever seen order hot tea there, and I intend to continue the tradition.” — Nell Rydzewski, Sacred Heart 


“Dragon King’s Daughter. Who knew you could crave an eggplant parmesan quesadilla?” — Madeline (Maddie) Stokes, Sacred Heart 


“Queen of Sheba is the best restaurant ever. I give it a 15 out of 10, highly recommend.” — Madison Roy, Whitefield Academy


“I miss Simply Thai so much. My family always goes there when my sister comes back from college, so we’ve really been missing it for those kinds of celebrations.” — Fiona Grannan, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs)


“Probably Jeff Ruby’s, but only because we were supposed to have birthday reservations there before everything shut down. My boyfriend, his brother and I all have April birthdays.” — Michaela Campbell, Floyd County (Floyds Knobs)


“Brazeiros at Fourth Street Live. It’s my boyfriend’s and my favorite fancy place, and we only go on really special occasions. We’ll make a reservation and wear our prom getups and feast!” — Eva Kreitman, Manual 


“Idk. I think I’ll stay in, let everyone else test the water.” — Deja Andrews, Seneca

Top 10 (in order):

Texas Roadhouse, Cheesecake Factory, Olive Garden, Taco Luchador, Cracker Barrel, Sake Blue, Chick-fil-A, Jeff Ruby's, Dragon King's Daughter, Joella's & Royals (tie)

“I like going outside for walks and doing chalk art to avoid becoming a couch potato.” — Holly Kissel, Presentation

Which non-restaurant Louisville place or business will you visit first once they reopen?

“Hobby Lobby because I am trying to crochet a blanket for my dorm room but all the yarn is sold out online! It’s crazy!” — Taylor Drane, Eastern 


“Revelry Boutique Gallery to buy tokens of my appreciation for my family and friends for all the support they’ve provided over the past couple of months.” — Laine Hirn, Manual 


“I really want to go to Moon Struck, a metaphysical store in J-Town, to grab some more incense.” — Lily Habich, St. Francis


“WTR Computer Sales in Jeffersontown. I need to buy a Windows 10 activation key for a computer I built for my senior project. (I’m currently answering this interview on the computer. Something cool about that.) The case that I used was an old Apple Power Mac G4, the Mirrored Drive Doors model.” — Connor Strothman, St. Francis


“My auntie’s hairdresser.” — Mazari Brightwell, Male 

“Literally Meijer. I know it sounds boring, but I just want to get some friends and take an hour or two and just stroll through every aisle.” — Savannah Partin, Butler 


“Smash Lab Louisville. I want to break some plates.” — Maggie Gediman, Manual 


“Foot Locker. I need some heat on my feet.” — Andy Romero, Jeffersontown 


“Bean Street is just a mile from school, so it’s always been a student hotspot, and I can’t wait to catch up with friends over a coffee.” — Fiona Grannan, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs) 


“Manual. I never got the chance to say goodbye.” — Ysa Leon, Manual 

“Visiting my grandmother in the nursing home.” — Damica Marshall, Jeffersonville

“I’m happiest fishing on the beach with my dad.” — Daniel Flynn, Kentucky School for the Blind

When did the scale of the pandemic hit home?

“At the beginning of this I worked for my friend’s dad at ValuMarket for two weeks. It was crazy what people bought. Someone bought 17 gallons of milk and another guy bought $50 worth of yogurt.” — Lauren Weaver, Manual 


“I was driving to my mom’s house one day toward the beginning of the pandemic. She lives off Frankfort Avenue, which is always super busy, but that day it was a ghost town. Nobody was walking on the sidewalks, everything was closed and there were no cars. Which made turning left much easier, but it was still very depressing.” — Ruby Jost, Brown 


“My grandparents live in the northern region of Ghana. And when it hit there I was very scared.” — Saeedatu Nasara Shamsudeen, Central 


“When I got the call about KHSAA canceling all spring sports. It broke me. Baseball has been my building block since I was four, and I’d waited all my life for this season. In our first and only baseball scrimmage, against DeSales, I ended the game with a three-run walk-off home run. Now, this summer, I’ll just be trying to have as much fun as I can before I leave for Navy basic training. People ask, ‘Why would you join the military?’ This question is normally followed by a snarky remark about how college is the best fit for everyone. That wasn’t the route written in my cards.” — Stephen Ruddy, Martha Layne Collins (Shelbyville)


“My mom lost her job. Money is very tight, and I’m just tired of seeing her cry or worry about how she’s going to feed the house.” — Symphony Mariah Caballero-Yancey, Waggener 


“Seeing the data that Black people were suffering at higher rates from the coronavirus really put things into perspective for me and totally made clear that the pandemic is not an equalizer but another level of racism within our society.” — Ryane Jones, Sacred Heart 


“Neighbor began to distrust neighbor.” — Elana Berger, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs) 


“When I realized I’ll never be a high school teenager again, and that it’s time to be an adult.” — Alyssa Mcentire, Pleasure Ridge Park


“Hearing Andy read off the cases and deaths, especially when he says a name. I don’t understand how others don’t see how real this is.” — Ysa Leon, Manual 


“In my second class, on my second-to-last day of school, my favorite teacher, with tears in her eyes, said, ‘Assumption will always be your home away from home. Don’t ever forget that.’ I knew I had to experience the magic of Assumption for myself one last time. During my lunch break, I drove to the school. I had conversations with the custodial staff — six feet away, of course — read my book for hours in the freezing cold and walked around the whole school, documenting my favorite place. I stopped in front of the main entrance and just stood there, taking it all in. Finally, after about 30 minutes of just standing, I went to sit down on a nearby bench. Just when I least expected it, a faculty member who works in the main office came to check on me (still social distancing). Immediately I knew I was going to cry and didn’t know when or how I would stop. Everyone wants their own little place in the world. Only by the grace of God am I able to say that mine is here: 2170 Tyler Lane.” — Riley Warren, Assumption

“Two of my friends — Jack Foldyna and Kylie Hill — made this guitar for me as a present for my 18th birthday. Every time I see and play it, I’m reminded of how lucky I am to have friends who care so much.” — Chloe Hill, Manual

“Friendsgiving.” — Gabriella Nieves, Ballard

“We were allowed to all hang out together without social distancing. I just want to get back to those times.” — Gabriel Marks, DeSales

Alexis Voll, Ballard

“Mercy’s lacrosse field is where I could be myself and work hard at the same time.” — Kendra Yurt, Mercy

What’s something other than TV/movies/books/music that has kept you entertained?

Common answers: painting (lots and lots of painting); experimenting with makeup; writing letters to friends; learning guitar; learning ukulele; sewing; swimming (“With a tether cord in my neighbor’s pool,” — Cora Martin, Kentucky Country Day); baking; reading the Bible; kayaking; training a new pet (Adelaide Lenihan from St. Francis got a red standard poodle named Q for “quarantine”); gardening; fishing; playing in the creek; jumping rope; journaling; meditating; lifting weights; playing board games (e.g., Rummikub and Clue), poker and Animal Crossing (Chloé Hill from Manual painted her favorite characters from the video game onto her jeans); working at Raising Cane’s (Anna Ashbrook, Assumption), Taco Bell (Donnie Smith, Valley), Walmart (Allison Russell, Eastern), Feeders Supply (“The scale of the pandemic hit home when people started buying a lot of dog food and wearing masks” — Lily Johnson, St. Francis), Starbucks (Caroline Youdes, Manual), Jay C Food Store in the ClickList department (Holly O’Donald, Floyd Central), Target (Connor Bickel, Floyd Central), UPS (Jackson Hall, Brown), Kroger (“Pays me very well” — Elizabeth Kane, Floyd Central); and coloring. “Coloring is definitely an underrated activity that should not be left behind in elementary school,” says Leigh Henry, Brown.


“Solving matrices by hand. I’ve now made and solved them up to five-by-six in dimension.” — Natalie Paige Ambrosino, Assumption 


“The podcast Modern Love. Reminds you of when you could actually hug people.” — Eleanor Barzun, Collegiate


“My boo.” — Hunter Ryan, Bullitt East


“I found some unopened LEGO kits in my house…so now I have a 1½ -foot-wide UFO that makes ray-gun noises.” — Morgan (May) Willcox, Manual 


“Customizing my own puzzle with the picture of my class from our last first day of high school.” — Riley Warren, Assumption 


“My kid.” — Asanti Wordlow, South Park TAPP


“I have my own 3-D printer and have been making face shields and donating them to frontline workers.” — Connor Strothman, St. Francis


“My parents and I started having little dance parties once a week. It’s really helpful and fun. Yesterday was ’60s night.” — Lorena Powell-Apestegui, Manual 


“My family. We’re all home, and that’s rare.” — Riley Brown, Jeffersonville 


“Daily walks at Cherokee Park — rain, snow, sleet or hail. Am I sometimes chilled to the bone? Yes. Have I communed with every fluffy dog in a five-mile radius? Also yes.” — Nell Rydzewski, Sacred Heart 

What person (living or historical) would be on your dream Zoom call?

Most common answer: Barack or Michelle Obama. 


Other responses: Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez (“’Cause I want them back together” — Erin Melton, Assumption), Alexander the Great, Mahershala Ali, Jane Austen, Cardi B., Carole Baskin’s husband from Tiger King, Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown (“So I can ask what in the heck he is doing” — Jacob Spanyer, Atherton), Big Ed from 90 Day Fiancé, Andy Beshear, influencer Indy Blue, Tim Burton, Naomi Campbell, Steve Carell, Mariah Carey, Agatha Christie, Cleopatra, Cookie Monster, Kurt Cobain, Marie Curie, Matt Damon, Doja Cat, Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Guy Fieri, Anne Frank, Ben Franklin, Gandhi, Greta Gerwig, Mark Hamill, Alexander Hamilton, Audrey Hepburn, Whitney Houston, Samuel L. Jackson, Kris Jenner, Jesus, Derek Jeter, Angelina Jolie, Mindy Kaling, Kim Kardashian, Toby Keith, Martin Luther King Jr., Keira Knightley, Brad Leone from the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen, John Krasinski, Adam Levine, Abe Lincoln, Malcolm X, Karl Marx, Paul McCartney, Shawn Mendes, Freddie Mercury, Marilyn Monroe, John Mulaney, Elon Musk, Trevor Noah, Frank Ocean, Sandra Oh, Nancy Pelosi, Rick Pitino, Queen Elizabeth I, RBG, Ronald Reagan, Keanu Reeves, Rihanna, Joe Rogan, Bob Ross, Babe Ruth, Claire Saffitz from the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen, Will Smith, Snoop Dogg, Taylor Swift, Chrissy Teigen, Trippie Redd, Mike Trout, Harriet Tubman, Donald Trump, Tupac, Vincent van Gogh, George Washington, journalists Clarissa Ward and Bob Woodward, Rainn Wilson, Victoria Woodhull (“She was the first woman to run for president in 1872 and we share a birthday” — Ysa Leon, Manual), Mark Zuckerberg (“Because he is sassy” — Isel Spears, South Oldham).


“Ian Fleming. I have been obsessed with James Bond books during quarantine and am currently reading all of the novels and short stories in order.” — Cora Martin, Kentucky Country Day 


“My TARC bus driver, George, because I really want to check up on him and make sure he’s OK. He’s honestly the nicest person ever. One time I accidentally lost my TARC card on his bus, and he carried it around for a week until I took his bus again and he could give it back to me. Shakespeare, so I can ask him about some of his works — specifically whom the ‘Fair Youth’ sonnets were written for and whether my theory of why sonnet 126’s two last lines are blank is correct. My third invitee would probably be John Oliver because I love Last Week Tonight and find him hilarious. I think each invitee would be very confused by being put in the same group with the other two. I would find that very amusing.” — Natalie Paige Ambrosino, Assumption 

“I choose my grandma who died when I was in elementary school. I’m sad that she didn’t get to see me do any of the big milestones that come with growing up and becoming a baby adult. She’s the only person I would pick.” — Elena Jolly, Manual 


“Alabama football coach Bear Bryant, one of the best of all time. YouTuber David Dobrik, who’s incredibly rich yet cares so deeply about others. He might give me a car. And Nikki Sixx, co-founder of my favorite band, Mötley Crüe. The man died and came back to life. That’s awesome.” — Gabriel Marks, DeSales 


“Vin Diesel, my grandparents and God.” — Cheridan Sanders, Silver Creek (Sellersburg)


“Marcus Luttrell, Chris Kyle and Dan Holloway. Marcus and Chris are military legends, and Dan is on his way to becoming his own legend.” — Chris Sapp, Jeffersontown 


“Harry Styles, John B. from Outer Banks and my mom. The first two because they’re pretty hot, and my mom because she deserves to see them too.” — Camberlin Reynolds, New Albany 


“Beyoncé, my dad because the connection in Liberia is terrible and I’ve never truly met him, and my little brother in Liberia because I’ve never met him.” — Augustina Tugbe, Ballard 


“Shaun King, Thurgood Marshall and Jason Y. Lee. King works tirelessly to raise awareness about unlawful harm done to people in the Black community. As a future lawyer, I would like to know what kept Thurgood Marshall driven in tough times. Jason Y. Lee is the CEO of Jubilee, which produces insightful and inspirational content for people of all races, religions and genders. Jubilee shows me that there are still some good people in the world.” — Sydney Johnson, Brown 


“bell hooks has found the keys to unlock many doors that I don’t even know exist. She’s so educated and knowledgeable, highlighting many flaws in society when she speaks about social, economic and racial imperfections, based on both fact and personal experiences.” — Shyne Hall, Southern

Kyra Johnson
Madelyn Steineker, North Oldham

If you could get on a plane right now, where would you go?

Some of the spring and summer trips canceled due to COVID-19: Alaska, Amsterdam, Arizona, the Bahamas, Bulgaria, Cancún, Cuba, Disney Land, Disney World, Egypt, Greece, Gulf Shores, Hawaii, Honduras, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, London, Paris, Prague, Punta Cana, the Rocky Mountains, San Antonio, Seattle, Spain, Switzerland, Utah, the Virgin Islands.


“I would go to China. I think the coronavirus got me thinking even more about who I am, as well as my culture. I’m a Chinese immigrant who came over to the U.S. by being adopted by a loving family of Americans. I have never been able to fully understand my own background and heritage, which is something I would really love to do.” — Lian McKernan, Manual


“Since I’m attending Sullivan University for culinary science, I’d love to go on a European food tour.” — Lily Habich, St. Francis


“Well, assuming COVID-19 didn’t exist, I would go to Harajuku in Japan. They have so many alternative thrift stores and I’ve dreamed of winning the lottery just so I can blow all of the money at a Japanese thrift store.” — Chloé Hill, Manual 


“Amsterdam. My friend Kika, a Dutch exchange student, had to go home early because of the pandemic. My friends and I were supposed to visit her this summer but no longer are able.” — Lilly Doninger, Collegiate


“Black Mountain, North Carolina. I have a political debate conference there every year that was moved online this year, but that place is really special to me. I would love to experience it as close to the way I was going to as I can.” — Simon Turner, Atherton 


“I would go to New York and volunteer in hospitals because they’ve needed it so much.” — Mihi Shah, Eastern 


“New York. I’d like to see the city that never sleeps, well, asleep.” — Madison Conway, Jeffersonville 


“I would go see my dad in Washington. I haven’t seen him since Christmas, and I don’t know when I will again due to the coronavirus.” — Leigh Henry, Brown 


“I would book a flight to visit my grandma, whom I haven’t seen in over six years. She was supposed to come for my graduation but couldn’t because of the coronavirus. This summer, I plan to write my grandma’s biography.” — Andrea Licona Leiva, Southern 


“Honestly, all I want right now is to go down the street and hug my best friend. I have a lowered immune system, and therefore cannot risk any exposure of any kind right now. This is the longest we’ve been apart since elementary school, and being so close, yet so far, has really sucked.” — Sophie Weber, Jeffersonville

“This is a picture of part of an outfit I created for the KMAC Museum’s 2020 KMAC Couture fashion show. I was supposed to walk in the show in this garment just a few weeks after the pandemic started, but of course the event was canceled. Luckily, I will get to walk in next year’s show instead. I hand-sewed hundreds of gumballs onto the top to fit the event’s signature of creating wearable art out of unique materials.” — Maddie Mattheu, Manual

Has Covid-19 affected somebody close to you?

“My mom, brother-in-law and sister-in-law are healthcare heroes, and the pandemic hit home when the hospitals started running out of PPE. Knowing they have to continuously go to work while treating COVID-19 patients scares me. I couldn’t imagine losing any of them. My mom has cried a lot and, as a family, we are always trying to support her. So many people don’t seem to care about the virus or say they didn’t sign up for this, and that infuriates me because, yes, my mom and family signed up to help anyone in need, but they didn’t sign up to die due to lack of supplies or due to the common sense the public has lost. It hasn’t been easy seeing friends hanging out with no social distancing. The pandemic is not a joke, and no one deserves to be sacrificed.” — Lian McKernan, Manual 


“My mom, Stephanie Tarter, is a registered nurse at Baptist, and I pray for her every time she goes to work.” — Madison Tarter, Eastern 


“My parents are both doctors, and the stress they have felt at work for the past three months has been terrible. They wear full PPE and have to come home and strip their clothes and then immediately shower. My dad has been sleeping in the basement because he is afraid of exposing our family.” — Elana Berger, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs) 


“My uncle passed from COVID-19. We couldn’t have the funeral, big party or huge family dinner at some restaurant like we usually do.” — Ariail, Eastern


“My grandmother’s cousin died of the coronavirus. Hearing her cry over the phone was heartbreaking.” — Natalie Paige Ambrosino, Assumption 


“I have a friend whose dad is currently in the hospital and not doing very well. I’m giving him as much support as I can. I wish I could do more. My dad died more than a decade ago, and I don’t want my friend to have to go through that pain. I wish I could give him a hug.” — Dylan Mears, Ballard 

“The doctors thought my father had COVID, so he had to pass alone because they didn’t want to risk anyone being in there and getting sick. This was a week into quarantine, and I couldn’t be with him in the room, nor could anyone else.” — Heather Carter, Silver Creek (Sellersburg)


“My grandparents have been very lucky, as they both went home safe after contracting the virus. But I’ll never forget the story my grandfather told about receiving the news he was going home. The doctor told my grandfather to look out the window and asked, ‘What’s that right there?’ My grandfather said, ‘A tree?’ The doctor: ‘Correct. Most of the patients lying in that bed you’re in don’t get to see one again. Consider yourself lucky.’” — Sam Adams, Manual 


“I actually was part of an unofficial knitting club that would go to Treyton Oak Towers after school every Tuesday. One week while listening to Gov. Beshear, he started mentioning Treyton Oak Towers and it was really scary to hear that and not be able to know who was affected.” — Lauren Weaver, Manual 


“One of the residents at the retirement home where I work ended up getting the virus after multiple times falling and going to the hospital. She died from it without her family by her side. It breaks my heart because she was the nicest woman I have ever met, and I miss her every single day. I had a balloon ceremony with her family after she, and another resident close to her, passed away. We wanted to celebrate their lives until a funeral is able to happen.” — Madelyn Gamertsfelder, Manual

“Camping trip with JROTC. By the time this picture was taken, on our last day, I had made some sort of bond with everyone in this picture.” — Madison Tarter, Eastern

Taylor Goode, Collegiate
Taylor Goode, Collegiate

What’s one thing you can’t live without during quarantine?

“Stamps. Because I can’t really see my friends and because Zoom calls just aren’t making up for the lack of physical contact, I’ve been writing letters nonstop for the tangible reminder of friendship and togetherness.” — Lilly Doninger, Collegiate


“Arnold Palmers.” — Colin Weaver, Manual 


“Sketchbooks for sure.” — Taylor Humphreys, North Bullitt 


“My lungs.” — Collin Allgeier, Jeffersontown 


“The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. These were books from my childhood that helped shape me into the person I am today, and I am rereading them during all of this.” — Madelyn Gamertsfelder, Manual 


“My fuzzy Crocs.” — Taylor Goode, Collegiate


“My family, even though they annoy me 24/7.” — Storm Chernecke, Ballard 


“My box braids. My hair would be crazy if it was not for these braids.” — Deja Andrews, Seneca 


“Food and water, obviously because they’re essential, but I also can’t live without 100,000 toilet paper rolls because ALL of them are very much so essential too.” — Fjona Vrajolli, Fairdale 


“My Telecaster.” — Ford Middendorf, St. Francis

What’s something you’ve learned about yourself during quarantine?

America’s Next Top Model has a lot of seasons.” — Sam Krimple, Walden 


“That my life in quarantine and out of quarantine are eerily similar.” — Cole Gentry, Collegiate


“I’m never actually bored enough to do laundry, and there is no limit to how many Reese Cups I can eat.” — Eva Kreitman, Manual 


“I should never try to bleach my hair again.” — Aly Porter, Moore 


“I have the attention span of a gnat on Red Bull when it comes to Zoom classes.” — Nell Rydzewski, Sacred Heart 


“I was never too busy to clean out my dresser. I just really didn’t want to.” — Lexie Overstreet, Male 


“I cannot bake. Thanks to my many failed attempts at brownies, cookies, bread and even a Mother’s Day cake aptly labeled ‘Atomic Mom,’ I have begun to harbor a growing animosity for the picture-perfect muffins and banana bread all over Instagram.” — Madeline (Maddie) Stokes, Sacred Heart 


“I’m going to UK, currently to major in psychology, but there’s a big chance that I will switch to astrophysics soon.” — Dylan Mears, Ballard 


“Humanity damages the environment so much on a daily basis, and that became so evident to me during quarantine as factories and businesses were forced to close.” — Andrea Licona Leiva, Southern 


“I hate it if I can hear you chew.” — Florencia Hilburn, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs) 

“My team.” — Hallie Place, Jeffersontown

“First semester, when everything was happy and amazing.” — Jackson Burton, Butler

In what new ways have you stayed connected with friends?

“Gathering at a park and sitting in our car trunks six feet apart.” — Erin Melton, Assumption 


“We mostly still do Instagram calls, but we have also decided to act on our nostalgia and play Minecraft together.” — Savannah Partin, Butler 


“Texting, FaceTime, Snapchat — everything possible. My boyfriend of two years recently swore into the Army and will be leaving for nine months in July. It’s hard not actually being with one another.” — Riley Brown, Jeffersonville 


“Online Uno matches.” — Miranda Hahn, Bullitt East


“A few of my friends and I decided to throw it back to the early 2000s and email each other instead of text or Snapchat. What can I say? Old souls.” — Willow Harpole, Ballard 


“We drop sweet treats off in each other’s mailboxes with a little note.” — Laura Hood, Assumption 


“I still hang out with them in person because the mortality rate for our age group is ridiculously low.” — J.D. McKay, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs) 


“Playing Monopoly online.” — Isaiah Hardee, Ballard 


“Parking lot parties! We set up chairs and towels in a big, far-apart circle and will talk for hours.” — Susannah Sowell, Oldham County 


“As odd as it sounds, my friends and I never called on the phone before all this. Everything was texts and group chats, and now, picking up the phone and just checking in and hearing their voices feels so much more fulfilling.” — Jackson Hall, Brown 

“This is me as Donna in Mamma Mia at YPAS, and this was probably the happiest I have ever been. This is the closing number, and we are getting the audience up and dancing with us. Just amazing.” — Rylee Taylor, Manual

What’s something you’ve seen on social media lately that’s worth sharing?

“The local support from our community. We see ladies making masks and just giving them away to essential workers. I’ve seen businesses honoring essential workers with either a free meal or a discount. I’ve seen families come together and actually spend time outside. The sidewalks are covered in chalk and you see families taking their kids on walks and riding bikes and spending quality time together.” — Riley Brown, Jeffersonville 


“Mark Kanemura’s Instagram Live workouts! He is one of my favorite choreographers. He does a livestream workout every day where he motivates you to stay positive through this hard time. He also cracks many jokes and does a long workout while wearing a sparkly, colorful pair of booty shorts. At the end, he puts on a wig and dances around with confetti. It is truly my favorite thing ever. Usually, I dance so much at school and the studio that when I get home I don’t really feel like dancing or working out on my own. I’ve felt productive doing things I’ve always meant to, like learning to cook and sew.” — Katie Dougherty, Manual


The Office cast reunited on Zoom to re-create their dances from Pam and Jim’s wedding.” — Isel Spears, South Oldham 


“The efforts of my peer Mia Mercer, who started an initiative at the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in which she sews, markets and sells masks via Instagram (@guardianonthego) and donates all profits to hospitals, the Louisville community and COVID-19 research.” — Madeline (Maddie) Stokes, Sacred Heart 


“Breonna Taylor. She deserves justice. As a community, Louisville should be pissed. Say her name. Share her story. Hold people accountable.” — Lexie Overstreet, Male 


“The College Board had a bunch of fake test answers floating around the internet to catch people cheating on AP exams.” — Logan Carter, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs) 


“I saw some people supporting crisis lines. I know that a lot of people are dealing with depression and anxiety right now, even people who might not have been previously diagnosed, so it’s important to share resources like that. It’s never wrong or bad to reach out.” — Fiona Grannan, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs) 


“I saw someone post about a man whose dad walked out on him when he was 12, and so now he has a YouTube channel called ‘Dad, How Do I?’ He shows other kids who have lost their dads how to do everyday tasks.” — Olivia Snodgrass, Mercy


“You can have a chocolate mold of your butthole made for a loved one.” Brady Dixon, Eastern 


“There was a women’s soccer game and one of the players was wearing a hijab and she knocked into another player to kick the ball and the hijab slipped off. When she collapsed to the ground to fix it, the players from the opposing team surrounded her to help hide her hair and to help her put it back on. I thought that showed that we should still have a little faith in humanity.” — Aly Porter, Moore 

What’s something unexpected you’ve missed during quarantine?

“The faces of people whose names I don’t know but whose faces I do.” — Eleanor Barzun, Collegiate


“Staying up late for softball games and then having to wake up early for school. And hugs. It hit me when I went to give a hug to a friend but was stopped.” — Kaitlynn Bailey, Assumption 


“The gorgeous drive along River Road to school downtown.” — Ford Middendorf, St. Francis


“My in-person weekly violin lessons have not been the same over video calls.” — Fjona Vrajolli, Fairdale 


“Lunch at school with friends. Yes, the school cafeteria always smelled like ranch and the food wasn’t stellar, but we’ll never get those days back.” — Sophie Weber, Jeffersonville 


“I live near Churchill Downs, and I’ve always thought Derby Day traffic was the biggest inconvenience. I actually missed it this year.” — Kyra New, Brown 


“Crowds. I miss having to push through a packed hallway, grabbing a friend’s hand so we don’t get separated while walking down Fourth Street on a busy day, and the harmonies that come from groups laughing and talking.” — Maura Maguire, Presentation


“I can’t hug my grandmother and have to talk to her through a window.” — Cammeron S. Durham, Martha Layne Collins (Shelbyville) 


“Just being inside my school. I’ve made so many memories there, and I’m not able to come to terms with the reality that the number of times in my life I’ll be there again could be in the single digits.” — Simon Turner, Atherton 


“Parties.” — Paul Luchini, Martha Layne Collins (Shelbyville) 

Mariah Jones, PRP

What’s one thing you would’ve done differently had you known it was going to be your last day of high school in March?

“Had everyone sign one of my billions of notebooks because now they won’t be able to sign my yearbook.” — Skylar Clemons, Ballard 


“I wish I would’ve really taken in every baseball practice.” — David Reeves, Atherton 


“Stopped joking about it being the last day. At that point, we all thought it was silly and that we would for sure see each other again. I would’ve thanked my teachers and let them know how much they’ve inspired me.” — Mary Klarer Fultz, Sacred Heart


“I would have walked out of the building with more intentionality. I would have taken the time to wave to my teachers, to look at the halls as I walked through them and to reflect on my last day. In short, I would have slowed myself — and my exit from high school — down, and I would have given myself the time to say goodbye.” — Madeline (Maddie) Stokes, Sacred Heart


“Took a good last look at the halls and classrooms I spent so much time in, and said a real goodbye to some very special and amazing teachers.” — Rachael Steele, Male 

“I would have told my friends that I loved them. I wouldn’t have been as flippant about exiting the school as a student for the last time. I would have grabbed my sheet music from the band room and erased all of the drawings and weird notes I had written all over it. Sorry, Mr. Kling. I swear my writing ‘chicken noiselessly noodle noodle noodle’ on my copy of ‘Homage to Bharat’ has an explanation.” — Dylan Mears, Ballard


“I would’ve dressed nicer, thanked every one of my teachers and stayed as long as possible. High school was crazy for me, but I honestly feel like who I am today is because of students and teachers in that building.” — Shyne Hall, Southern 


“Not stayed home because of a headache.” — Nicole Shariatmadari, Assumption 


“I would’ve taken thousands of pictures.” — Saylor Federspiel, Mercy 


“I would have hugged every single person and had more meaningful conversations. And then I would have cried.” — Megan Wood, Portland Christian

What did you miss about school during quarantine?

“I have a really hard time picking out outfits every day. I’m used to always wearing a uniform.” — Megan Osting, Sacred Heart 


“There are little quiet spots in the school that not many people know about, where you can do homework and just feel safe and at home. I miss my quiet little spots a lot, probably more than I’ve ever missed my bed.” — Lorena Powell-Apestegui, Manual 


“The welding shop.” — Collin Allgeier, Jeffersontown


“The chairs were good for back-popping.” — Damica Marshall, Jeffersonville 


“I miss the little traditions we made together, like meeting up in a specific spot every morning where at least one of us would be doing homework due in 10 minutes, another one would be asleep on someone’s lap and the rest would be having ridiculous conversations. Also, the inside jokes I made with my counselor. In her eyes, I will forever be the student with way too many raccoon stories.” — Maura Maguire, Presentation 


“See, there are these things called chicken fritters. They are better than heavenly manna in a barren desert. I miss these chicken fritters so much. Also, back in the days of my youth — four months ago — I could eat lunch at a table of people I did not live with. Simpler times.” — Holly Kissel, Presentation 


“My friends. Testosterone is starting to make my voice crack and there’s nobody here to make fun of me for it.” — Dylan Mears, Ballard 


“My school was small enough that you knew everyone. It was like a giant family. I miss my family.” — Megan Wood, Portland Christian 


“Sitting at a school desk.” — Gabrielle Ward, Jeffersonville 


“Taking a really good nap after a long day at school.” — Maddie Currie, Manual

“After senior night. I can’t wait to be able to hang out with friends again.” — Cameron Waddle, Bullitt East

“Performing with the school band.” — Samuel Johnson, Bullitt East

What sounds have you missed?

“The CBS March Madness music.” — Gabriel Marks, DeSales 


“A baseball hitting a bat. Cleats in the grass. When the CDC advised against groups of more than 10 gathering until May 10 I realized that my season and graduation would get canceled. That was when the scope of things really set in.” — Will Kempf, Trinity 


“My Tame Impala ‘The Less I Know the Better’ alarm. It woke me up every day for school… kinda.” — Aly Porter, Moore 


“Girls randomly complementing each other in the school bathroom.” — Elise Williamson, Manual 


“I had been doing musical rehearsals every day after school preparing for our spring show of Spamalot. I miss hearing all of our voices fill the room.” — Tori Minteer, Ballard 


“The idle chatter that fills a classroom when a teacher leaves to make copies.” — Fiona Grannan, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs) 


“A classmate sneezing and you knowing precisely who it was without turning around.” — Nell Rydzewski, Sacred Heart 


“The roars of the big cats I worked with through my volunteerism at the zoo. My position for spring and summer was canceled.” — Jasmine Skye Benningfield, Shelby County 


“The assistant principal yelling at me to take off my headphones in the hallway.” — Sareth Lozoya Melendez, Atherton 


“The sound of the school bell. I feel like I’ve almost forgotten what it sounds like.” — Olivia Snodgrass, Mercy

In one word, what’s your biggest hope right now?

In one word, what’s your biggest fear right now?

Prom thoughts?

“I had an entire outfit planned. Not only my dress but a necklace, a shawl, my shoes, a flower crown — it was Enchanted Forest-themed — and every detail of my makeup. I even was looking into getting custom corsages for me and my date, who used to go to my school and had emotionally and verbally supported me during a really tough time that happened right before quarantine began.” — Natalie Paige Ambrosino, Assumption 


“I’ve been to prom twice before, both times with boys. It wasn’t because I wasn’t out as a lesbian; they were just both close friends who I was excited to hang out with. This year, though, I finally have a girlfriend, and I was so excited to be able to wear a suit and dance with her, hopefully to Lizzo. I thought I might finally get to live out a teen romcom moment, one that I rarely get to see onscreen between two women.” — Laine Hirn, Manual 


“This was going to be the first prom I went to on testosterone, and I was really excited about that and about taking photos in clothes that make me feel comfortable. Prom is a time when people can express themselves, dress up in ridiculously formal clothing, take pictures. I had a really cool outfit planned: tux top, skirt on the bottom.” — Dylan Mears, Ballard 


“It was heartbreaking that I wasn’t able to dance with my high school sweetheart one last time before he shipped off for the military.” — Sarah Berna, Silver Creek (Sellersburg) 

“This reminds me of when I could hang out with all my friends.” — Avery Bisig, North Oldham

“The scale of the pandemic hit me when I was sitting in bed watching The Office on what should have been prom night.” — Joey Keal, St. Xavier 


“I bought my dress a few weeks before we went into quarantine. I thought about returning it when everything got more serious, but I decided to keep it. I was bummed that it was canceled, but my family planned a surprise prom. I walked into the family room and there were balloons and decorations everywhere.” — Tori Minteer, Ballard 


“I actually missed our winter dance as well because I had the flu. So now I have two dresses hanging in my closet.” — Chloe Walrad, Highlands Latin 


“It’s a tradition in my family and community to make a prom dress senior year out of our cultural attire. I’m sad I never get the chance to do that.” — Nkechinyere Angel Okorie, Ballard 

“‘Don’t Stop Believing’ has been the song that gets my friends and me to flock to the dance floor to belt out the lyrics. This song always defines our homecomings and proms. I was looking forward to doing one last ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ riff on the air guitar.” — Caroline Sowell, Oldham County 


“I plan on going out with my boyfriend when places open back up. We’ll have our own little prom — dinner and dancing in the park, maybe ice cream at Graeter’s. We’re both pretty introverted, so it doesn’t need to be big or have everyone around for us to really feel the experience.” — Mekayla Curtis, Valor Academy

Susannah Sowell, Oldham County

“Here is my best friend, Riley Brown, and me at our senior dinner dance last November. It is a dance just for the seniors and their dates, and something the class of 2020 didn’t miss out on, unlike our senior prom.” — Blake Schremp, Jeffersonville

Caroline Frederick, St. Francis

Graduation thoughts?

“I know that seniors feel selfish complaining about what they missed out on when there is a global pandemic, but it really is sad for us and these problems are real. We are missing out on
a lot.” — Jessica Baird, Jeffersontown 


“It’s weird that I just woke up one day and was a high school graduate without the ceremony.” — Collin Allgeier, Jeffersontown


“I made a promise to my grandfather before he died to be the first on my dad’s side to graduate. But I know I’ve kept that promise all these years. I’m sad I won’t get to say goodbye to the ones I know I may never see again. I want to say to them: Tomorrow is never promised. I wish everyone the best in life, even if it’s hard. Don’t give up. Keep going even on the days it feels wrong.” — Allison Russell, Eastern 


“My school has planned to rent out a drive-in theater in La Grange to do a proper graduation. We’ll all be in our cars, graduates will walk one by one to get their diploma off a table, give a speech if they want, then go to stand back at their car.” — Lily Habich, St. Francis


“I wanted to speak, to sing, to showcase our graduating seniors. I wanted to be onstage, guiding our class to the future. But now I no longer wish to attend a virtual graduation. Just mail me my diploma, thanks.” — Joseph Falcon, Shawnee 

Mariah Jones, PRP
Mariah Jones, PRP

“I am a first-generation high school graduate and a first-generation college student. I cried when JCPS announced that they would just do an online graduation.” — Casey Weaver, Manual


“On the night before the first day of senior year, my friends and I made a bucket list, complete with every fun event we could imagine for the year to come. The final item on the list, in huge red letters: GRADUATION, with a little doodle of a grad cap next to it. The list still hangs on my wall. It feels like it’s mocking me.” — Caroline Youdes, Manual


“I feel like if I do get to start college in August I’m going to have imposter syndrome because I won’t feel like I actually completed high school.” — Addison Evers, Manual


“I still remember being in kindergarten, when the seniors come to our school, and thinking, ‘Wow, that’s going to be me one day.’ I never thought it would come so soon. It was supposed to be a moment we would all cherish for the rest of our lives.” — Reggie Montes, Martha Layne Collins (Shelbyville)


“At least I can hold this over future generations’ heads like the Baby Boomers do to us now. ‘Back in my day, graduation was a Zoom call and your diploma was a Google Doc!’” — Holly Kissel, Presentation

LeAirion Rice, Doss

If you could pick anybody (living or historical), who would have given your high school graduation speech?

Most popular answer: Barack or Michelle Obama (“I feel like much of my class saw them as parental figures because Obama was in office for most of our time in school” — Maddie Mattheu, Manual), followed by Morgan Freeman (“When he talks people are more interested” — Hannah Cole, Community Montessori), Zac Efron (“Because he gave the speech in High School Musical 3” — Sydney Richardson, Eastern) and Elon Musk (“He thinks about the future” — Malka Churchill, South Oldham).


Other names: Andy Beshear, Brené Brown, Nick Cannon, Ellen DeGeneres, Will Ferrell, Malcolm Gladwell, Tom Hanks, Kevin Hart, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Jordan, Martin Luther King Jr., John Krasinski, Jennifer Lawrence, Lin-Manuel Miranda, John Mulaney, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mike Pence, Megan Rapinoe, Fred Rogers, Teddy Roosevelt, Adam Sandler, Travis Scott, Greta Thunberg, Bryson Tiller, Alex Trebek, Donald Trump, Lindsey Vonn, Denzel Washington, Kanye West.


“Lady Gaga is the definition of what Walden stands for, and is one to the biggest allies for the LGBTQIAAP+ community.” — Sam Krimple, Walden 


“Billie Eilish is an overall sweet human who understands our society and is our age. She speaks her mind and would be comical but also relatable.” — Michaela Campbell, Floyd County (Floyds Knobs)


“The Rock inspires me.” — Joey Keal, St. Xavier 

“Arnold Schwarzenegger. No one is cooler than Arnold.” — Benjamin Kostic, Louisville Classical 


“Danny DeVito because I’d love to see what comes out of that.” — Shannon Bradley, Manual 


“Someone unexpected. I want to hear a different perspective than what the general population says. Maybe an introvert who wasn’t friends with every single person, or someone who was really quiet throughout high school. Their perspectives are usually enlightening because they observe so fluently.” — Willow Harpole, Ballard 


“Abraham Lincoln because the ‘Gettysburg Address’ hit so different.” — Sareth Lozoya Melendez, Atherton 


“Malcolm X would tell us to be strong and don’t let this thing beat us.” — Micah Pryde, Jeffersontown


“Malala Yousafzai. Not only was I Am Malala the summer reading assignment for my classmates and I before our freshman year, but I also like to think that, of anyone, Malala knows what it feels like to have your educational plans derailed by circumstances beyond your control. She is the embodiment of resilience, advocacy and female empowerment.” — Madeline (Maddie) Stokes, Sacred Heart 


“Optimus Prime. He’d know what to say.” — Deja Andrews, Seneca

Kendra Yurt, Mercy
Maddie Stokes, Sacred Heart

How will you celebrate graduation?

“My friends and I are planning to do our own little graduation this summer once we can all hang out again on the top of this parking garage we like to go to at night. We’d bring food and have a picnic and my little sister said she’d make us funny diplomas and be our makeshift principal.” — Maddie Currie, Manual 


“My mom’s family lives up north in Indiana and my dad’s is in Michigan. I don’t get to see other family members often unless something big is happening. They would’ve come down for my graduation, but it might just end up being my family of four. Since I live on such a big property, I wanted to go all out for my graduation, and surprisingly my parents were onboard. Like, I’m talking water slides and cotton candy machines.” — Riley Brown, Jeffersonville 


“Preparing for the Marines with a five-mile run, 40 push-ups, 60 sit-ups and 60 ammo-can lifts. And I’ll have
a brownie.” — Collin Allgeier, Jeffersontown 

Heather Allen, Manual

“Getting tatted.” — Johnny Brown Jr., Western


“The pandemic canceled everything. In March we had a softball meeting to discuss future plans, and I remember leaving the field and sitting in my friend’s car and just crying because I knew that eventually they would have to cancel everything and I wouldn’t be able to experience the rest of my senior year. In a world with COVID-19, for a graduation party I would be happy with a family movie night in the backyard with my projector.” — Kennedy Alexander, Ballard


“With my family. Or just risk it and see the homies.” — Isaiah Hardee, Ballard


“My family is going to have me walk across the front yard and have my family members sit six feet apart and play the classic graduation song.” — Madelyn Gamertsfelder, Manual


“Sleep in, eat a waffle, watch the episode of Saved by the Bell where Zack Morris surprisingly is allowed to graduate after years of terrorizing Bayside, Zoom my friends and have a nice dinner with my parents and sister.” — Holly Kissel, Presentation


“The day my graduation was originally scheduled, my dad and I went to the venue where the ceremony would have been, then took pictures in my cap and gown and posted them to social media with the caption: ‘Quick question: Where is everybody else?’” — Maura Maguire, Presentation


“Sleeping with my diploma.” — Damica Marshall, Jeffersonville

What’s the most annoying thing adults say to you?

“I work at Kroger, and they’re always asking if we have toilet paper.” — Justin Riggs, Silver Creek (Sellersburg)


“Right after Gov. Beshear announced that schools were closed, an Orkin pest control man came to our house for a routine spray. He saw me doing a puzzle and asked, ‘Aren’t you glad school’s out?’ I was so frustrated. I could see he felt sorry when I told him I was a senior and that I would give anything to be back at school just one more day.” — Riley Warren, Assumption 


“If I saw one more person posting their graduation pictures to ‘support the class of 2020’ I would’ve lost my MIND! How is showing us what we’re missing any help?!” — Sophie Weber, Jeffersonville 


“‘Why are you complaining? At least you’re not dying!’ It’s like, ‘Sure, Karen, but my feelings are still valid!’” — Alex Rapp, Mercy 


“‘Walking the stage at graduation isn’t what it’s made out to be.’ Yeah, OK, but you were able to experience it and I wasn’t, so I have the right to feel some way about it.” — Juseo Solo, Waggener 


“‘What’re you going to college for? Do you have a boyfriend? What’re your plans? Why do you buy pants with holes in them?’” — Michaela Campbell, Floyd County (Floyds Knobs)


“Did you wash your hands?” — Coreon Mitchell, Jeffersonville 


“Wake up.” — Andy Romero, Jeffersontown 


“‘What are your plans for college?’ This is so frustrating because we are all confused now, and we feel so much pressure. A majority of seniors, if not all, have had their plans messed up.” — Megan Wood, Portland Christian 


“There’s an assumption that, just because we are younger, we are not mature enough or haven’t experienced life like they have, and therefore we can’t give our opinion. They underestimate the experiences we have lived through, and, in all honesty, I think that is an ignorant way of thinking, because every person has different experiences from a young age that have affected their lives, whether it is related to their race, their physical aspects, their abusive relationships, their addictions, their immigration status or other things that have affected how they think and live.” — Andrea Licona Leiva, Southern

Luke Voss, Collegiate
Juseo Solo, Waggener
Micah Pryde, Jeffersontown
Mihika Deo, Eastern

What do you wish adults would ask you more often?

“I had an entire outfit planned. Not only my dress but a necklace, a shawl, my shoes, a flower crown — it was Enchanted Forest-themed — and every detail of my makeup. I even was looking into getting custom corsages for me and my date, who used to go to my school and had emotionally and verbally supported me during a really tough time that happened right before quarantine began.” — Natalie Paige Ambrosino, Assumption 


“My pronouns.” — Sam Krimple, Walden


“‘Do you want a hug?’ I could use one but it’s hard to ask for it.” — Laine Hirn, Manual 


“‘Are you OK?’ A lot of kids are struggling internally, and all of this isolation just amplifies that. Ask your child, brother, sister, cousin, niece, nephew or friend if they’re doing OK. It might just change their whole life.” — Cole Mathesius, Jeffersontown 


“Do you want to play some Chutes and Ladders?” — Cole Gentry, Collegiate


“‘Would you like some money? Do you want to use my car?’” — Angel Davie, Ballard 


“What has living through a recession and global pandemic taught you about compassion and the importance of social programs?” — Lexie Overstreet, Male


“For my opinion. I feel like people still treat me and my views like I’m a child, when I actually know what I’m talking about.” — Cat Monin, Atherton 


“Literally any question that shows I am an equal now, not a child.” — Logan Carter, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs) 


“In general, I wish everyone would ask questions like little kids do. The older we get, the more boring our questions become: How’s the job? What do you do? How’s the family? Where did the What’s your favorite color/food/smell/sea animal/dinosaur? questions go? For the record, my answers are lavender, cookies ’n’ cream ice cream, fresh cut grass with a hint of bonfire, penguins and stegosaurus.” — Caroline Sowell, Oldham County 


“Would you like to go on a walk with me?” — Kennet Clark, Ballard 

What silver lining have you found during quarantine?

“I had an entire outfit planned. Not only my dress but a necklace, a shawl, my shoes, a flower crown — it was Enchanted Forest-themed — and every detail of my makeup. I even was looking into getting custom corsages for me and my date, who used to go to my school and had emotionally and verbally supported me during a really tough time that happened right before quarantine began.” — Natalie Paige Ambrosino, Assumption 


“I’ve had more time to talk with my parents about things other than school or sports.” — Kaitlynn Bailey, Assumption 


“My junior year of high school, I was rushing to my bus stop full on crying because I was so stressed out by my schoolwork, extracurricular activities, AP Exams, the ACT and my job. I remember thinking to myself, ‘I want everything to just stop for one moment so I can breathe and just read a book for my own enjoyment and eat grapes.’ Got what I wished for, huh?” — Angelina Atieh, Manual 


“Dairy Queen still sells ice cream cakes even when they’re drive-thru only.” — Savannah Partin, Butler 


“I’m grateful to have a roof over my head and a family I feel safe with. I’ve come to enjoy the little things more, like family dinners, and I know that I’ll be so much more appreciative of every moment I spend with my friends as soon as this pandemic is over.” — Caroline Youdes, Manual 


“Being able to spend so much time with my mom has been a blessing. We are both usually so busy with different schedules, so it feels better to be going off to college after spending all this time together. I am so grateful for everything she has done for me, and for all of her support in this crazy time.” — Tori Minteer, Ballard 


“I don’t have to wake up early for school ever again.” — Jade Sodan, Atherton 


“Sleeping late, driving less, cooking more.” — Graham Waggener, Martha Layne Collins (Shelbyville) 


“More bike rides.” — Holly O’Donald, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs) 


“I can say that my senior year was cut short because of a global pandemic, which not everyone gets to say. Also, this all will end. Whether it’s tomorrow, next week or in a few months, it will end.” — Sarah Lundy, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs) 


“As Ferris Bueller so wisely said: ‘Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could
miss it.’” — Nell Rydzewski, Sacred Heart

“It’s a screenshot from a video my friends and I made during spirit week back in October. The theme was bikers vs. surfers. We were having fun and enjoying life.” — Aanika Garre, Manual

What’s one thing this pandemic can’t change?

“The fact that, once this is over, grocery workers will go back to being bottom of the barrel. They deserve a lot more recognition. We shouldn’t need a pandemic to show others that these essential workers are important. They’ve always been important, but a lot of rich/middle-class people look down on them.” — Lily Habich, St. Francis


“Humanity’s extraordinary capacity to ignore medical advice, apparently.” — Simon Turner, Atherton 


“The sun will always rise and fall, the earth will spin on its axis, and I will continue to order takeout.” — Savannah Partin, Butler 


“People being there for each other. Almost everyone in my family drove by our place on my brother’s birthday to honk and hold signs out the window. People show out for others who matter to them. That won’t change.” — Sam Adams, Manual 


“That we will always find a way to meet people even when we shouldn’t.” — Hannah Cole, Community Montessori


“The bond I have with my friends is everlasting despite distance and how many screens we have to use.” — Victoria Carroll, Bullitt East/Riverview Opportunity Center/JCTC


“Political polarization.” — Sydney Johnson, Brown


“Racism.” — Malka Churchill, South Oldham 


“Hopefully my 2021.” — Abby Hart, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs) 


“There’s always more dishes to wash in the sink.” — Andrea Licona Leiva, Southern

“Assumption softball has given me the best family and four years I could’ve asked for.” — Kaitlynn Bailey, Assumption

Graham Waggener, Martha Layne Collins
Morgan Ferman, Ballard

What “senior superlative” would you have given yourself? Most likely to _________.

“Start an off-grid home. Because of my love for mother Gaia.” — Hunter Ryan, Bullitt East


“Leave my hometown and never come back. Don’t get me wrong, I love Louisville and could not imagine growing up anywhere else. But I want a change of scenery or maybe a change in continent. I’ll come back to visit.” — Lexie Overstreet, Male 


“Be verified on Twitter. I’m interested in doing politics after I serve in the military.” — J.D. McKay, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs) 


“Be on crutches, ’cause I’m a gymnast and I had crutches three times senior year and at least once all other years of high school.” — Maddie Caudill, Ballard 


“Know every word to every song played.” — Taylor Goode, Collegiate


“Be president. That’s what my class voted me. We’ll see about that in the polls.” — Ryane Jones, Sacred Heart 


“Become an NFL football player and a business owner. I’ll be working toward this goal by going to UK and playing football.” — Izayah Jason Cummings, Male 


“Become a pilot.” — Grayson Ward, Martha Layne Collins (Shelbyville) 


“Fake my death. I, of course, would tell my mom to save her from having a heart attack, but I am known for doing crazy, random things, and the reaction I would get when I walked into my ‘funeral’ would be a sight to see.” — Malka Churchill, South Oldham 


“Be rich. Can’t explain it, but I know I’m gonna be rich.” — Sareth Lozoya Melendez, Atherton 

What’s your favorite memory from senior year?

“Jan. 17, when my friends and I adopted the phrase, ‘Boys, it’s gonna be a good day.’ We used to say that all the time before COVID.” — Jackson Hall, Brown


“Teaching teachers TikTok.” — Saeedatu Nasara Shamsudeen, Central 


“It’s definitely the day I got my first college acceptance letter. It was a Friday afternoon in mid-January, and I was coming home from school to get ready for work when I saw a thick envelope with college letterhead on my kitchen counter. Without touching the packet, I immediately began sobbing and called my mom to tell her that I had gotten into one of my dream schools. Although the tears confused her, she was just as excited as I was.”
— Madeline (Maddie) Stokes, Sacred Heart 


“Getting honored All District and All Regional for both basketball and volleyball, both of which I plan to play
in college.” — Mariah Jones, Pleasure Ridge Park


“Listening to ‘Tongue Tied’ by Grouplove while driving down the road in the summer heat at 4 a.m. with friends.” — Connor Bickel, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs) 


“Scoring the game-winning touchdown in double overtime against Trinity.” — Izayah Jason Cummings, Male 


“Our class chanting ‘Seniors!’ as we walked toward the large gym to make our entrance during the pep rally for the homecoming football game.”
— Andrea Licona Leiva, Southern 


“My rap group.” — Le’Airion Rice, Doss 


“For a musical concert in the fall I organized a small funk trio to play Vulfpeck’s ‘It Gets Funkier’ for the entire school.” — Ford Middendorf, St. Francis


“When I took my final bow as the lead in the school musical.” — Alex Rapp, Mercy 

“This is a picture from Karneval celebrations in Bonn, Germany. It reminds me not only of huge parades but also when I could travel. I miss my friends there.” — Sam Adams, Manual

What was the best thing about high school?

“JROTC camping trips. And having the same lit people in my classes that I’ve gone to school with since Hite Elementary.” — Madison Tarter, Eastern 


“EVERYTHING. I’m not joking: sisters, teachers, classes, homerooms, family Olympics, family council, cookie decorating, media center, the ‘nice’ water fountains and bathrooms, pep rallies, comfy couches, choir room singing, Iggy the iguana (rest in peace), the main entrance, my parking spot, Bardstown Road, Tyler Lane, the green, track, carpools, block scheduling, Christmas karaoke, Halloween dress-up, intramural softball, senior privileges, eating in the courtyard, uniforms, senior sweatshirts….” — Riley Warren, Assumption


“Laughing with the bros.” — David (Red) Young, Ballard 


“Getting to intern at Norton Women’s and Children’s Hospital. I was able to scrub in on surgeries in the operating room every week for three years.”
— Peyton Stanley, Community Montessori


“Playing basketball and accomplishing back-to-back 20-win seasons. Plus, winning the Danville Christian Tournament senior year.” — Jordan Flaspoehler, Walden 


“Leaving.” — Zachary Abbe, Shawnee 


“The lunch.” — Stephen Todd, Minor Daniels Academy


“Growth. I received a letter I wrote at the end of my freshman year today, and the girl who wrote it held so much hatred for herself. I’m in a much better place now than I was at the beginning of high school, and I am genuinely excited for the future.” — Laine Hirn, Manual


“The person who entered as a freshman is not the same person who is exiting as a senior. High school was hard, but I seemed to always find light through every situation. I allowed my situations to mold me, rather than break me.” — Audrey Meulee, Central 


“I never thought I was sentimental until I made an impulsive video edit of my high school years. My favorite tradition was Red-White Week, aka Male-Manual Week.” — Casey Weaver, Manual

Saeedatu Nasara Shamsudeen, Central

What are your plans for after high school?

Rana Alsoufi, a KCD graduate enrolled at UK, shared the same sentiment as so many others in the class of 2020: “We’re supposed to go to campus in the fall as planned, but that may be subject to change.” Or as Assumption grad Riley Warren put it: “As of right now, Miss ’Rona has not affected my college plans. But she needs to hear it loud and clear: I have been looking forward to college for as long as I can remember and you will not take this away from me.” Will Kempf, a graduate of Trinity who plans to play baseball at Centre College and major in psychology, says, “I think it’s inevitable that when school returns it won’t be normal.”


Here’s where some of the seniors who participated in this interview are going to college:

Alabama A&M University, American University, Asbury University, Ball State University, Bellarmine University, Berea College, Butler University, Campbellsville University, Carthage College, Cedarville University, Centre College, Columbia College Chicago, Columbia University, Culinary Institute of America, Duke University, Eastern Kentucky University, Fisk University, Franklin College, Georgetown University, Hanover College, Howard University, Indiana University, IUPUI, Ivy Tech, La Salle University, Lincoln Memorial University, Lindsey Wilson College, Logan University, Marian University, MedQuest College, Mercyhurst University, Miami University (Ohio), Morehead State University, Murray State University, Northern Kentucky University, Northwest Florida State College, Ohio State University, Ohio Wesleyan University, Penn State University, Purdue University, Southern Illinois University, Tennessee State University, Thomas More University, Transylvania University, Trinity College, United States Military Academy at West Point, United States Naval Academy, University of Alabama, University of Chicago, University of Cincinnati, University of the Cumberlands, University of Georgia, University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, University of Michigan, University of Missouri, University of Nebraska, University of Richmond, University of South Carolina, University of Tennessee, University of Virginia, Vincennes University, Wake Forest University, Western Kentucky University, Wheaton College, Xavier University, Yale University

Here’s how 10 graduates answered the question:

“Become an electrician.” — Barrett Hall, North Bullitt


“As of this writing, I haven’t officially confirmed, but I think I’ll be attending Ball State, then moving to New York after college. My original plan was to attend Fordham in New York, but, with COVID-19, income is kinda shaky and my parents are worried because New York has been an epicenter for the virus. I think my path will be more beneficial to me and my family in the long run.” — Cathy Lau, Manual 


“Be an influencer.” — Phillip Cherry, Phoenix School of Discovery


“Continue my job at State Farm, go to online school, buy a house, get a puppy.” — Joclyn Ragland, Crawford County (Marengo)


“Doing hair.” — Nevaeh Anderson, Shawnee 


“Attend UK — no matter how much it bothers my parents, who are die-hard U of L fans.” — Alaina Pignato, Ballard 


“Working at UPS and working on becoming a successful YouTuber and musician.” — Breyden Templeton, North Bullitt 


“Get a job, save money, build an earthship.” — Hunter Ryan, Bullitt East


“I will work through the summer and attend JCTC. When I am 18, I will work for Ford.” — Stephen Todd, Minor Daniels 


“Just vibe.” — Amiya Carney, Manual 

Kirsten Butler, Manual
Jackson Hall, Brown

If you’re attending college in the fall, which do you prefer?

In-person classes: 46%; A mix of in-person and online classes: 41%; Online classes: 7%; Not sure: 6%

Anything else you wanna say?

“Corona can kiss my class (of 2020).” — Riley Brown, Jeffersonville 


“I love the Louisville that is open and accepting and weird and diverse. I love how you can be in the heart of downtown in one moment and then driving down a tree-shaded lane the next. Although the city is small, it still has so many faces. What I would like to see change is how segregated and distanced our communities are. If you can’t drive or if you stick to one community, it’s difficult to see and meet the rest of the city. By offering better transportation, Louisville could go from being segregated to hopefully integrated.” — Ford Middendorf, St. Francis


“Since you’ve given me a soapbox: I got a 36 on the ACT October of my junior year, and I think standardized testing is a waste of time and a horrid indicator of how successful someone will be in college and their intelligence in general, and the fact that so many colleges simply dropped their testing requirements because of the lockdown proves they don’t even need the scores. Also, sensory-friendly performances are important and should be much more common than they are.” — Natalie Paige Ambrosino, Assumption 


“To all of the people currently housed with unsupportive and/or abusive families: You are not alone in this. It’s hard, I know it’s hard, but you will make it through this. Reach out to a friend, or a hotline. Stay safe <3. On a lighter note: Hi, Mrs. Gebben. You said that if any of us got interviewed then we should name-drop you. So here I am, dropping your name.” — Dylan Mears, Ballard 


“Don’t take high school for granted. Go to that game, take that class. Because before you know it, it will be over.” — Molly Hill, Bullitt East


“Congratulations to all 2020 seniors who worked so hard to make it this far in life. If no one else believes in you, I do! You are amazing and are capable of incredible things. Keep your head up and live your life.” — Kennedy Alexander, Ballard 


“Never backward, always forward.” — Tierra Jones, Liberty 


“Dick Cheney made money off the Iraq War.” — Maggie Gediman, Manual 


“I wish there were a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.” — Clayten Bynum, DeSales 


“Class of 2020, out.” — Jordan Cunningham, Jeffersontown 


to every single high school senior who answered these questions.

A’Nyah Jones, Male

Aanika Garre, Manual

Aarushi Kanukunta, Manual

Abby Hart, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs)

Abby Jamison, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs)

Abby Nash, Manual

Abby Simeon, Mercy

Abigail Bryant, Martha Layne Collins (Shelbyville)

Abigail Whitson, Clarksville/Renaissance Academy

Addison Evers, Manual

Adelaide Lenihan, St. Francis

Ainsley Wuerth, Assumption

AJ, New Albany

Alaina Pignato, Ballard

Alex Rapp, Mercy

Alexa Smothers, Central

Alexandra Shelley, St. Francis

Alexis Cole, North Bullitt 

Alexis Voll, Waggener

Alison Chaleunphonh, Floyd Central
(Floyds Knobs)

Aliya Krebs, Bullitt East

Alizah, Western

Allison Russell, Eastern

Aly Porter, Moore

Alyssa Mcentire, Pleasure Ridge Park

Alyssa Perkins, Holy Cross

Amber Elliott, Crawford County

Amiya Carney, Manual

Andrea Licona Leiva, Southern

Andy Romero, Jeffersontown

Anealya Hammad, North Bullitt 

Angel Davie, Ballard

Angel Strange, Holy Cross

Angelina Atieh, Manual

Anna Ashbrook, Assumption

Anna Blake, Assumption

Annie Michael, Manual

Annika Benson, Manual

Ariail, Eastern

Ariel Mitchell, Crawford County

Asanti Wordlow, South Park TAPP

Ashanti Davis, Western

Asia Stonewall, Atherton

Audrey Meulee, Central

Augustina Tugbe, Ballard

Austin Arroyo, Fairdale

Avery Bisig, North Oldham

Aveyonna Wilson, Shawnee

Bailey Mikesell, Ballard

Barrett Hall, North Bullitt 

Bendjy Charles, Doss

Benjamin Kostic, Louisville Classical

Blake Schremp, Jeffersonville

Blaze Growe, Jeffersonville

Brad Phillips, Western

Brady Dixon, Eastern

Breyden Templeton, North Bullitt 

Brianna, Scottsburg 

Brianna Montgomery, Floyd Central
(Floyds Knobs)

Bryce, Valor Academy

Camberlin Reynolds, New Albany

Camden, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs)

Cameron Miller, PRP

Cameron Waddle, Bullitt East

Cammeron S. Durham, Martha Layne Collins (Shelbyville)

Carly Easton, West Washington Jr. Sr. High School

Caroline Frederick, St. Francis

Caroline Sowell, Oldham County

Caroline Youdes, Manual

Casey Weaver, Manual

Cassidy Witt, Manual

Cat Monin, Atherton

Cathy Lau, Manual

Catlyn Simmons, Manual

Ceci Rush, Our Lady of Providence

Ceiontez James, Doss

Chedwins Vixamar, North Bullitt 

Cheridan Sanders, Silver Creek

Cheyenne Stepp, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs)

Chloé Hill, Manual

Chloe Walrad, Highlands Latin

Chris Sapp, Jeffersontown

Claire Metel, Manual

Clayten Bynum, DeSales

Cole Gentry, Collegiate

Cole Mathesius, Jeffersontown

Colin Weaver, Manual

Collin Allgeier, Jeffersontown

Connor Bickel, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs)

Connor Strothman, St. Francis

Cora Martin, Kentucky Country Day

Coreon Mitchell, Jeffersonville

Cory Nevitt, Atherton

Dalzell Hector, Western

Damica Marshall, Jeffersonville

Daniel Flynn, Kentucky School for the Blind

Daniela Tice, Fairdale

Danielle, Borden

Danielle Evans, Manual

David (Red) Young, Ballard

David Reeves, Atherton

Deja Andrews, Seneca

Desiree Daniel, Jeffersontown

Destiny, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs)

Destiny Franklin, Jeffersonville

Diamond, Jeffersonville

DJ, Ballard

Donnie Smith, Valley High School

Drew Manning, Collegiate

Dylan Mears, Ballard

Ebony Holmes, Western

Elana Berger, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs)

Eleanor Barzun, Collegiate

Eleanor White, St. Francis

Elena Jolly, Manual

Eli Sherman, St. Francis

Elif Ozyurekoglu, Manual

Elijah Malone, Male

Elise Williamson, Manual

Elizabeth Kane, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs)

Ellie McLaughlin, Collegiate

Emily Beacv, Ballard

Emily Greer, Scottsburg

Emily Moats, Bullitt East

Emily Renco, Collegiate

Emma Martinez-Morison, Manual

Emma Wilkie, Manual

Erin Melton, Assumption

Eva Kreitman, Manual

Fiona Grannan, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs)

Fjona Vrajolli, Fairdale

Florencia Hilburn, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs)

Ford Middendorf, St. Francis

Gabriel Marks, DeSales

Gabriella Fowler, Manual

Gabriella Nieves, Ballard

Gabrielle, Manual

Gabrielle Ward, Jeffersonville

Gavond Morris, Fern Creek

Genesis Bishop, Assumption

Grace Becker, Presentation

Gracie Beck, New Albany

Gracie Gamble, Bullitt East

Gracie Sapp, Holy Cross

Gracie Spalding, Assumption

Graham Waggener, Martha Layne Collins (Shelbyville)

Grant Saylor, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs)

Grayson Ward, Martha Layne Collins (Shelbyville)

Hailie Place, Jeffersontown

Haley Williams, Jeffersonville

Hannah Beck, Austin

Hannah Cole, Community Montessori

Hannah Pirtle, Clarksville

Hannah Yates, Presentation

Heather Allen, Manual

Heather Carter, Silver Creek

Holly Kissel, Presentation

Holly O’Donald, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs)

Hope Sivori, Mercy

Hunter Ryan, Bullitt East

Imani McKinney, Eastern

Isaiah Hardee, Ballard

Isel Spears, South Oldham

Izayah Jason Cummings, Male

J.D. McKay, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs)

Jack, Highlands Latin

Jackson Burton, Butler

Jackson Hall, Brown

Jacob Brown, New Washington Middle
High School

Jacob Righs, Silver Creek

Jacob Spanyer, Atherton

Jacoby Mask, Western

Jade Sodan, Atherton

Jakeline Mascareno, North Bullitt

Jalyn Riley, Henryville

Jasmine Skye Benningfield, Shelby County

Jason Corrado, Floyd County (Floyds Knobs)

Jason Higdon, DeSales

Jayson D. Drury, Shelby County

Jenee Whitt, Butler

Jenica Miller, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs)

Jeremiah Lott, Silver Creek

Jessica Baird, Jeffersontown

Joclyn Ragland, Crawford County (Marengo)

Joey Keal, St. Xavier

Johnny Brown Jr., Western

Jordan Cunningham, Jeffersontown

Jordan Flaspoehler, Walden

Jordan Gaines, Jeffersontown

Joseph Estes, Landmark Christian

Joseph Falcon, Shawnee

Josiah Gomez, Highlands Latin

Julianna Polichetti, Bullitt East

Juseo Solo, Waggener

Justin Riggs, Silver Creek

Kaitlynn Bailey, Assumption

Kaniya Harris, Ballard

Kansas Amos, Austin

Katelin Burton, Henryville

Katie Cooper, Presentation

Katie Curtis, Presentation

Katie Dougherty, Manual

Katie Kelley, Ballard

Kayden Rapson, Jeffersontown

Kayleigh Miller, Silver Creek

Kendra Yurt, Mercy

Kennedy Alexander, Ballard

Kennedy Ellis, Jeffersontown

Kennedy Wilson, Manual

Kennet Clark, Ballard

Kiaya, Corydon Central

Kirsten Butler, Manual

Kristen Graas, Mercy

Kyra Johnson, Manual

Kyra New, Brown

Lacey Cottner, Manual

Laine Hirn, Manual

Laura Hood, Assumption

Lauren Weaver, Manual

Le’Airion Rice, Doss

Leigh Henry, Brown

Levi Chandler, Manual

Levi Shinabery, Highlands Latin

Lexie Overstreet, Male

Leya Masterson, Renaissance Academy

Lian McKernan, Manual

Libby Gilliland, Presentation

Lilly Doninger, Collegiate

Lily Habich, St. Francis

Lily Johnson, St. Francis

Linzee, Jeffersontown

Lizzie Adkins, Portland Christian

Logan Carter, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs)

London Camba, Manual

Lorena Powell-Apestegui, Manual

Luke Voss, Collegiate

Lydia Holland, Assumption

MacKenzie Beckmann, Eastern

Maddie Caudill, Ballard

Maddie Currie, Manual

Maddie Mattheu, Manual

Madeline (Maddie) Stokes, Sacred Heart

Madelyn Gamertsfelder, Manual

Madelyn Steineker, North Oldham

Madison Conway, Jeffersonville

Madison Fuson, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs)

Madison Roy, Whitefield Academy

Madison Tarter, Eastern

Maggie Gediman, Manual

Malka Churchill, South Oldham

Maria Popson, Our Lady of Providence

Mariah Jones, PRP

Mary Klarer Fultz, Sacred Heart

Maura Maguire, Presentation

Mazari Brightwell, Male

Megan Harvey, Crawford County

Megan Osting, Sacred Heart

Megan Smith, Manual

Megan Wood, Portland Christian

Mia Breitenstein, Manual

Micah Pryde, Jeffersontown

Michaela Campbell, Floyd County
(Floyds Knobs)

Mihi Shah, Eastern

Mihika Deo, Eastern

Miranda Hahn, Bullitt East

Mitchell Durbin, Eastern

Molly Hill, Bullitt East

Morgan (May) Willcox, Manual

Morgan Ferman, Ballard

Morgan Inghram, Bullitt East

Natalie Paige Ambrosino, Assumption

Nell Rydzewski, Sacred Heart

Nevaeh Anderson, Shawnee

Nick Ryan, Holy Cross

Nicole Riddle, Mercy

Nicole Shariatmadari, Assumption

Nkechinyere Angel Okorie, Ballard

Noel Reynolds, Grace International School

Nyah Kellogg, North Oldham

Octavia Robinson, Waggener

Oksana Gast, Jeffersonville

Olivia Beach, Ballard

Olivia Goacher, Shawnee

Olivia McDonald, North Bullitt

Olivia Snodgrass, Mercy

Olivia Wilson, Presentation

Paul luchini, Martha Layne Collins (Shelbyville)

Peyton Bray, Walden

Peyton Stanley, Community Montessori

Phillip Dherry, Phoenix School of Discovery

Rachael Steele, Male

Rana Alsoufi, Kentucky Country Day

Raymond Gonzalez, Kentucky School
for the Blind

Reggie Montes, Martha Layne Collins (Shelbyville)

Reilly Anderson, Silver Creek

Riley Brown, Jeffersonville

Riley Smith, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs)

Riley Warren, Assumption

Roshan Rama, Manual

Ruby Jost, Brown

Ruby Osborne, Manual

Ryane Jones, Sacred Heart

Rylee Taylor, Manual

Sadie Lawrence, Manual

Saeedatu Nasara Shamsudeen, Central

Sam Adams, Manual

Sam Krimple, Walden

Samantha Flores, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs)

Samuel Johnson, Bullitt East

Sanya Dronawat, Manual/Gatton Academy

Sarah Berna, Silver Creek

Sarah Bogan, Manual

Sarah Lasley, Bullitt East

Sarah Lundy, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs)

Sarah Vincent, Ballard

Sareth Lozoya Melendez, Atherton

Savannah Foster, Eastern

Savannah Partin, Butler

Saylor Federspiel, Mercy

Shahad Busaleh (Shay), Manual

Shannon Bradley, Manual

Shyne Hall, Southern

Sierra Waggoner, Jeffersonville

Simon Turner, Atherton

Simona Sofronova, Manual

Skylar Clemons, Ballard

Sophia B.W., Ballard

Sophie Weber, Jeffersonville

Sophiya Geary, Ballard

Star Watts, Manual

Stephen Ruddy, Martha Layne Collins (Shelbyville)

Storm Chernecke, Ballard

Susannah Sowell, Oldham County

Sydney Goodrich, Eastern

Sydney Johnson, Brown

Sydney Richardson, Eastern

Symphony Mariah Caballero-Yancey, Waggener

Tabitha Robinson, Assumption

Taye Smith, Ballard

Taylor Baugh, Butler

Taylor Drane, Eastern

Taylor Goode, Collegiate

Taylor Humphreys, North Bullitt

Taylor Weller, Assumption

Tiana Sutton, Male

Tierra Jones, Liberty High School

Tori Minteer, Ballard

Trinity Tolone, Floyd Central (Floyds Knobs)

Tristan Crawford, North Bullitt

Tyler Perdue, North Bullitt

Victoria Carroll, Bullitt East/Riverview Opportunity Center/JCTC

Will Kempf, Trinity

Willow Harpole, Ballard

Ysa Leon, Manual

Zachary Abbe, Shawnee

Zachary Brown, Manual

Zachary Leonard, New Albany

Zachary Polston, DeSales

Zayne Isom, Manual

Zoe Clemmons, Manual

Zoe Simmons, Iroquois

Zoie Pois, Walden

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