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July 8, 2020

5/29/2020 8:50:00 AM
How Iowa County High School seniors have been coping with the pandemic
Graduation season has had a different outlook from years past. The graduations we are familiar with include caps and gowns, graduation party invitations, and posters throughout local communities.
Then COVID-19 happened. To adhere to CDC social distancing guidelines, schools across the country made the tough decision to close down their schools and to have students to conduct their schoolwork from home.
In order to better understand life as a graduate for the class of 2020, seniors from Iowa County's schools shared their stories.
Iowa-Grant 2020 graduate Kruz Kitelinger had originally planned on participating in track in his final year.
"The thing that made me look forward to track the most was trying something new, being a part of a team for one last time, and making memories with friends," Kitelinger said.
Virtual learning had affected his learning in a couple ways.
"The toughest part about virtual learning was trying to figure out something you didn't understand, and not having the teacher there for help all the time," Kitelinger said. "The good part of virtual learning was having more time to get assignments done or just one day to work on an assignment."
Kitelinger coped with the sudden change by going on hikes and going on long drives just to get out of the house. With his birthday during the pandemic, he celebrated the occasion with a surprise from his mother.
"A whole bunch of people drove by and it was good to see people and friends that I hadn't seen in a long time," Kitelinger said.
Morgan Vondra, a senior of Mineral Point High School, also shared her perspective.
"At first for me, I was very disappointed with the fact that my senior year was cut short and the fact that I would miss out on many of my last's," Vondra said.
Vondra's passion in high school was FFA. The pandemic greatly changed how she would remember her last year.
"Most of all, I was disappointed that I would not be able to have my last FFA banquet and State FFA Convention," Vondra said. "But as time went on, I have decided that there is no point in being sad or disappointed about it, since I can't change it."
She made the choice to work harder than ever to make the most of her senior year.
"As Theodore Roosevelt said, "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Vondra said.
Highland student Carlee Kosharek has worked hard throughout high school, and had been named Valedictorian of her class. She put on the Highland Cardinal sports uniform and excelled in volleyball, basketball, and softball. The Cardinals were picked to end their season at Goodman Diamond at the WIAA state tournament. However COVID-19 changed many things.
"Hearing that there would be no softball season this year was one of the most heartbreaking things that I have experienced," Kosharek said. However, Kosharek has made the most of the quarantine by being with the ones that matter the most to her.
"Even though quarantine itself is unenjoyable, this time has actually had a lot of nice moments because my sisters, parents, and I have been able to spend a lot of time together that we usually do not get to," Kosharek said. "My friends and I are really close and have managed to stay in contact through SnapChatting and FaceTiming all the time."

Matthew Fahey is a senior at Barneveld high school and has given his thoughts on the loss of most of his final year due to COVID-19.
"I felt angry, bummed, upset and frustrated not understanding why and how this can possibly be happening," Fahey said when the school closing order was extended.
It was also very hard for Fahey as he was a baseball player for the Barneveld Eagles.
"When we heard that WIAA said it was over, it was a huge amount of anger and unfairness to think I was never going to walk on the baseball field again," Fahey said.
However like many other Iowa County seniors, he learned that he had no other choice but to adapt.
"I have tried to make the best out of it. I got a job working to start earning money and pursuing my future sooner than I really wanted to," Fahey said. " With the easing of the restrictions I have started to see a friend here or there but I miss my friends and my classmates and teammates. I miss people and talking to them at practice, games and school."
Danielle Roh is a 2020 Dodgeville High School graduate. She shared her insights on some of the things the senior class would miss.
"We missed the senior walk through the other schools," Roh said. "We are missing Senior Skip Day (even though the 2020 senior skip day has been said to set the record), the senior class trip to Blackhawk Lake and, of course, graduation."
Danielle participated in track and dance for four years. Besides the DHS Dance Team Danielle has been a member of the Betty Hayes School of Dance for 15 years. The School of Dance recital is traditionally held Father's Day Weekend and it is hard to know if the recital will be held at all.
She has been spending her time during the Safer at Home order with her mother Shelly, her younger brother Grant and contacting her friends through social media.
Danielle said the students with years of school ahead of them need to realize from the pandemic, that nothing should be taken for granted.
"I have learned how important spending time with those you care about and the relationships you have really are," she said. "We will get through this and go on with our lives. I bet we will have a lot to talk about at our first class reunion."

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