inside a classroom

2020: A Class Dismissed


They were born in the weeks and months after 9/11 and are graduating in the year of a crippling pandemic. Maine’s high school seniors in the Class of 2020 have lived through some of the most profound change our country has ever witnessed.

With Maine high school cancelling in-class lessons for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year, beginning in March, these young adults missed out on cornerstone experiences that ease the transition from being a child to being an adult. 

No prom. No senior sports season. No yearbook signatures. No final play or performance. No awards dinner. No senior prank. No senior ditch day. For so many, no final farewell.

With so much focus on the death, despair and financial pain that’s accompanied the spread of the coronavirus, we felt it was important to capture the stories of a senior class that has been prematurely dismissed. And, we did just that between March and June of 2020.

Students participating in this series represented schools and communities from around the state: from the southernmost to the northernmost to the coast of Maine and the islands.

Interviews and videos by Bailey Beltramo.
Photos by Jennifer Hoffer and contributed by the students.

We spoke to seniors from as many Maine high schools as possible to tell the story of Maine’s Class of 2020 and how these students dealt with the unexpected developments that come with a global pandemic and a disrupted senior year.

In all, we spoke to 29 graduating high school seniors from 25 high schools.

Gracia Bareti

School: Westbrook High

Hometown: Westbrook

Michael Delorge

School: Maine School of Science and Mathematics

Hometown: Biddeford

Paige Goldstein

School: Lake Region High

Hometown: Naples

Mason Parks

School: North Yarmouth Academy

Hometown: Scarborough

Nick Burgess

School: Kennebunk High

Hometown: Kennebunk

Tim Burgess

School: Kennebunk High

Hometown: Kennebunk

Veritie Howard

School: Windham High

Hometown: Windham

Kiera Eubanks

School: Portland High

Hometown: Portland

Bailee Mallet

School: Fort Fairfield High

Hometown: Fort Fairfield

Tim Farrelly

School: Vinalhaven School

Hometown: Vinalhaven

Shelby Lewis

School: Katahdin High

Hometown: Oakfield

Chance Walston

School: Machias Memorial High

Hometown: Machias

Reina and Ronna Ruzigana

School: South Portland High

Hometown: South Portland

Rebecca Packard

School: Freeport High

Hometown: Durham

Anna LeBlanc

School: Edward Little High

Hometown: Auburn

Alyssa Finn

School: Gray-New Gloucester High

Hometown: Wales

Elizabeth Dufresne

School: Madawaska High

Hometown: Madawaska

Jordyn Rubin

School: Lewiston High

Hometown: Lewiston

Emily Piper

School: Edward Little High

Hometown: Auburn

Jenna Fecteau

School: Bonny Eagle High

Hometown: Hollis

Sadie Colby

School: Messalonskee High

Hometown: Sidney

Ian Dow

School: Winthrop High

Hometown: Winthrop

Emily Canavan

School: Southern Aroostook

Hometown: Dyer Brook

Susie Strickland

School: Gardiner Area

Hometown: Gardiner

Amber Sandstrom

School: Fort Kent Community

Hometown: Cross Lake Township

Georgia Howe

School: Hall-Dale High

Hometown: Farmingdale

Katelyn Ingerson

School: Lewiston High

Hometown: Lewiston

Joshua Mutshaila

School: Casco Bay High

Hometown: Portland

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