MHS Staff Celebrate Senior Students

With an in-person graduation ceremony unlikely to occur, Malibu staff members are brainstorming ways to celebrate high school seniors and their achievements. 

School staff from districts around the country have begun putting up yard signs in front of seniors’ residences—a way to celebrate while maintaining state-mandated social distancing. Two Malibu High teachers, after seeing a school in their area putting up signs, pitched the idea locally.

“Amy Galipeau (marine science teacher) and Lisa Lambert (P.E. teacher) reached out a few weeks back after seeing a school in their neighborhood do similar,” Patrick Miller, MHS principal, said in an email. “They then reached out to [parent] Jen DeNicola, who was helping with planning senior night.”

Other teachers were recruited and the plan was put into motion. Miller, Galipeau, Lambert, Sarah and Sean Ryan, Daniel Lambert, Rachel Stowell, Jennifer Gonzalez, Mike Mulligan, Carla Bowman-Smith, Anna Deshautelle, Kim Auer, and DeNicola spent their Sunday driving around town to plant yard signs.

Sarah Ryan said she and her husband “drove separately to divide and conquer.” During her drop-offs, she said she saw about four students.

“I also had a mom who came out and was so grateful and teared up,” she explained. “I think this gesture went a long way.”

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“It was really a great thing to be able to show kids we care and are in this with them,” Sarah added.

In total, the group put signs out in front of 144 students’ homes.

Miller is still looking to conduct some sort of ceremony for the seniors.

“We have researched and even met with various companies about virtual ceremonies, drive-through ceremonies, drive-in ceremonies, etc., and haven’t found something that really fits our community or validates the 13 years these kids have spent with us,” he explained, adding: “If they [the state and LA County Public Health] allow an in-person gathering later in the summer, we will do late July or early August.”

In the meantime, staff members will continue to plan more alternative ways to recognize the Sharks seniors.

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