At WHS, a sense of normalcy returned, looking forward to fall


WILMINGTON — As Wilmington High School wrapped up the 2020-2021 school year, teachers and students felt a sense of closure.

Jessica Shelton, an environmental science and biology teacher, said, “Even though I felt there were some topics we kind of rushed through or didn’t spend as long on topics we typically would, I felt like we still had a nice closing to year.”

Anna Welch, a chemistry and freshman science teacher, advised there were some topics they didn’t get to, but she felt much was accomplished regardless.

“I feel like what we did, we did well,” said Welch. “Especially with the second half of the year not being a hybrid (of online and in-person teaching).”

Last year, the school year wrapped up with teachers and students saying goodbye over a computer microphone and webcam.

“Kids today are walking out today saying, ‘Bye, Mrs. Shelton, have a good summer!’ That didn’t happen last year,” said Shelton.

Welch felt a disconnect with students while teaching online.

Matt Spradlin, the high school’s band teacher, had to make many changes to his plans over the year. This included the marching band — they had no away camp over the summer and didn’t travel to away games or to contests.

“We are planning for a typical fall for marching band,” said Spradlin. “Things are feeling like we’re slowly returning to normal. We just hope to keep going in that direction.”

All the teachers believe that things are starting to get back to normal and they’re excited to see what the next school year brings.

One of those students is Claire Burns, the incoming senior class president, who felt this year was a handled better than last year.

“Obviously, last year, they had rush to through things together,” said Burns. “They did it really well with the time they had to do it in. But this year felt a lot more smooth.”

She gave credit to the teachers for planning it out well during the summer.

Despite her enjoyment of taking classes half online and half in-person, she realized how much she missed her friends and the feel of normalcy.

“I felt like I had lost touch with people doing classes online,” she said. “So, there is more closure this year. But I felt like (the end of the year) kind of snuck up on us because the first half was either online or half and half.

“It feels like I want another semester,” she added.

By John Hamilton

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Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

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