VANDALIA, Ohio (WDTN) — The Vandalia-Butler City School District is honoring the Class of 2022 with a special display.
Yard signs with students’ pictures printed on the front and back are on display in the front lawn of Butler High School.
Now in its third year, the idea for the signs started in 2020 with the Vandalia Butler Alumni Association spearheading it.
“The class of 2020 got denied so much stuff. And I was like, you know, we need to do something to show community support,” says Greg Atherton, President of the Vandalia-Butler Alumni Association. “We wanted to make it a new Butler tradition to show the students the community and Alumni Association are behind them 100%.”
“When they rolled out the display a couple years ago–the Alumni Association–for the COVID graduates, I thought that was a great thing,” says senior Jake Louderback, who will be attending the University of Cincinnati to study finance.
This year, 243 students have their pictures on the front lawn.
“I remember seeing it for the first time in 2020 when I was a sophomore. It was just really nice. It made the seniors– It gave them a special something when everything else was kind of taken away from them,” says senior Dani Holop, who’s heading to Ohio State University.
As a nod to the class of 2020, 20 flags are spaced throughout the display.
“That was the year it started. That was the year of the pandemic,” explains Atherton.
The signs are also socially distanced, spaced six feet apart, symbolizing the health recommendations at the start of the pandemic.
“All the parents and grandparents and just general community members really enjoy going out and seeing everybody’s smiling face,” says Louderback.
The display is made possible by donations and sponsorships from the Alumni Association, businesses, and community members.
“Seeing your picture up there with all of your friends, it’s heartwarming. It’s like a nice little farewell,” says Holop.
Vandalia-Butler High School will hold its graduation ceremony Monday, May 23.
To donate to the Vandalia-Butler Alumni Association, go to vbalum.com.