Brunswick hosts drive-thru celebration for seniors
GREENWICH — Sunny and nearly 70 degrees, Wednesday would have been the perfect day for an outdoor graduation ceremony.
The 102 seniors at Brunswick School who are graduating this spring were supposed to hold their commencement ceremony Wednesday, but that has been postponed due to closures from the coronavirus.
The date for a new, regulated and socially distanced commencement ceremony, when the graduates will get their diplomas, is penciled in for July.
But to make May 20 special despite the postponement, Brunswick hosted a drive-through celebration along the large oval-shaped driveway at the lower school campus on King Street.
Students sat in the back of pickup trucks, stood through car sunroofs and peeked their heads out of the windows of vehicles. The cars, driven by family members, were decorated with Brunswick’s school colors, balloons and inscriptions in washable car chalk. Sisters, girlfriends and moms recorded the whole event on their cellphones.
As the cars filed by, energetic teachers waved homemade signs, rattled noise makers and cheered on the 2020 ’Wick students, who they have not seen in two months since the school halted in-person classes due to the pandemic. The music team blasted iconic songs.
Matthew Kirby-Smith, who teaches theater and shop, made a display of props from the school musical, “The Music Man.” Brunswick theater kids put on their performance just days before the school closed, so most of the seniors would recognize his set-up, Kirby-Smith said.
“It’s absolutely amazing to see the guys again,” he said. “I hope we will be in-person this July.”
Katie White, a fifth-grade teacher, was also waving on the students. The 2020 graduating class was her first class as a teacher at Brunswick, and she knows a good number of the boys who were driven by.
“It is really nice to see them,” she said.
Josh Duennebier, an eighth-grade English teacher, rattled a noisemaker and shouted to boys by name.
Although he last taught them in middle school, Duennebier said he is often at the high school and has kept up connections with the students through the four years of high school.
“It’s wonderful to see them,” he said. “It’s a great feeling. I’m happy that they worked something out. They’re all starved for interaction, so even a little bit is good.”
The smiles on all the boys’ faces “speak for themselves,” he said.