August 9, 2022 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

Blackburn keeps positive attitude despite challenging end to senior year

No prom.

No spring musical.

No graduation ceremony with thousands of people in attendance.

Needless to say, the senior class of 2020 had a different and unusual way to their high school careers than most students who had come before them.

Kaylee Blackburn, however, tried to take all the adjustments the cornonavirus pandemic threw at her in stride.
“It’s been really hard because everything kind of shut down right before spring break when many of us were planning on taking trips,” said Blackburn, a 2020 St. Joseph-Ogden High School graduate who was active in the drama club all four years at SJO.

Blackburn would have performed as Gretchen in SJO’s Freaky Friday production.

“Having not known then that those days would be the last ones that that we as a class would spend together makes us wish we could have done treated it a little differently,” she said.

Blackburn said it was difficult to not have a normal graduation ceremony with her fellow classmates.
“The way that we did the ceremony is something that nobody will forget,” Blackburn said. “But it still was not the same without everyone else there to share in the memory.”

The stay-at-home order Gov. J.B. Pritzker ordered in Illinois on March 20 had a direct effect on Blackburn. She started a job at Market Place Mall in Champaign last November, but she hasn’t worked there since the pandemic began.

“When everything started closing down, the mall followed shortly thereafter,” Blackburn said. “Since the middle of March, I have been home a lot.”

Blackburn used her time at home to focus on her school work, which was now done at home via a computer.
Blackburn said it had some challenges but she feels it will be beneficial in her future career as a teacher.
“I can see how remote learning can be beneficial for teaching students if we have to resort to this route again,” she said. “Also, doing remote learning gave us a chance to see other students during our Zoom meetings, but it still wasn’t the same as sitting in class with your friends.”

Blackburn adds that remote learning was difficult for her, most notably because of all the distractions going on at home.

“I’m a very personable individual, and I like the ability to ask questions, and with remote learning, that wasn’t a very good atmosphere. Plus, I got easily distracted at home, which also shrouded my focus on getting things done.”

While Blackburn did get a chance to do cheerleading for her senior in the fall for football, a lot of the memories that she and her classmates would have had together ended up being via the online method.

“We were still able to face time each other, as well as text or call each other. One of my best friends is the class president, so we are planning to have some kind of a reunion in about six months once everything gets back to some semblance of normalcy.”

in People
Banner
Related Posts

Interpretive center to reopen tomorrow

July 7, 2020

July 7, 2020

As the state of Illinois moves into Restore Illinois-Phase 4, the governor has authorized the reopening of museums and nature...

SJO makes graduation plans for June

May 1, 2020

May 1, 2020

St. Joseph-Ogden High School is making plans for graduation to honor the Class of 2020. In a letter sent to...

Kids Say…. What do you think a farmer does?

December 23, 2019

December 23, 2019

We ask students to tell us what they think a farmer does each day. Here are their answers. What do...

Parkland announces candidates for commencement

May 6, 2019

May 6, 2019

Parkland College congratulates the candidates for its 52nd Commencement Exercises. The graduation ceremony will be held Thursday, May 16, at...

10 things you don’t know about me… Todd Jacob

October 2, 2019

October 2, 2019

Every week we ask an area resident to share 10 interesting facts about themselves. This week we spoke to State...

10 things you don’t know about me… Abbie Layden-Rogiers

June 17, 2019

June 17, 2019

Each week we ask a community member to tell us 10 things about themselves. This week is Abbie Layden-Rogiers, owner...

10 things you don’t know about me… Carrie Mattsey

September 27, 2019

September 27, 2019

Every week we ask an area resident to tell us 10 interesting facts about themselves. This week we spoke to...

Closings and Cancellations for Wednesday

February 2, 2022

February 2, 2022

Email stjosephrecord@gmail.com to be included on the list. For Wednesday the following schools are doing remote learning:PVOSt. Joseph #169SJOUniversity of...

‘Her heart was golden’ — Short loses battle with cancer

June 10, 2019

June 10, 2019

Nine years ago, Sarah Logan Loomis raised her hand at a meeting of parents. The meeting was for her daughter,...

Longview Bank helps area schools

July 15, 2020

July 15, 2020

Longview Bank is helping local schools. The bank donated $2,500 to eight school districts. Shiloh, Villa Grove, Unity, Heritage, St....

10 things you don’t know about me… Tonya Yeazel

September 5, 2019

September 5, 2019

Every week we ask a St. Joseph area resident to tell us 10 things we don’t know about them. This...

Novak hopes butterfly garden benefits community

October 14, 2019

October 14, 2019

Heidi Novak isn’t a gardner. However, that didn’t stop the 2019 St. Joseph-Ogden High School graduate from creating a butterfly...

Bagby selected as winner of Chamber Scholarship

April 23, 2019

April 23, 2019

Goals are nothing new to St. Joseph-Ogden Senior Cassidy Bagby. As a varsity cross country and track athlete she sets...

Dream come true: St. Joseph native earns veterinarian degree from University of Illinois

July 18, 2019

July 18, 2019

Suzanne Ford has always wanted to be a veterinarian. “My mom says I was two years old when I said...

Parkland announces Dean’s List

June 5, 2020

June 5, 2020

In honor of their outstanding scholastic achievement, the following students have been named to the Parkland College Dean’s List for...

Comments
Leave a Reply