Caps, gowns delivered as community rallies around grads

More than 400 caps, gowns and “Panther Proud” lawn signs have been deliv­ered to Quakertown Community High School seniors in what has been described as “an entire com­mu­ni­ty ral­ly­ing behind our stu­dents.”

The words belong to Principal Mattias van’t Hoenderdaal, who thanked his admin­is­tra­tive team, teach­ers, coun­selors, sup­port staff, fire com­pa­nies and the Levy School Bus Co. for an effort that has left every­one with pos­i­tive memories.

During the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic, a chal­leng­ing time as all schools in Pennsylvania have been shut down by orders of the gov­er­nor, admin­is­tra­tors held sev­er­al meet­ings with stu­dents and par­ents seek­ing ways to bring some Pomp and Circumstance to those who have missed out on senior year activ­i­ties.

“This could not have been done with­out every­one involved,” Mr. V said. “The whole com­mu­ni­ty came out and has been so sup­port­ive and so patient as this amaz­ing event was planned.”

He said as fire trucks entered neigh­bor­hoods, fam­i­lies came out of their homes and stood on their lawns to cheer for the seniors. “It was real­ly a big to-do,” Mr. V said. “There were so many hap­py faces.”

Assistant Principal Jennifer Carolla said the two days of deliv­er­ies “was such an awe­some thing to be a part of! Loved it!”

On Facebook, where sev­er­al hun­dred peo­ple liked the post of the QCHS effort, for­mer Principal Mario Galante wrote: “Great job! Giving the stu­dents a cel­e­bra­tion of their suc­cess is very impor­tant! Kudos to the admin­is­tra­tive team!!!”

Special edu­ca­tion teacher Rachelle Quinter said that par­tic­i­pat­ing in the deliv­ery “was one of the high­lights of my career. It was so mov­ing to see every­one come togeth­er as a com­mu­ni­ty for the seniors.”