It's Happening: Shout Out to the Class of 20GR18

By Julie Perine on May 13, 2018 from It’s Happening via

When Jacob went to kindergarten, he was apprehensive about school. I wondered how the other students in the classroom reacted when he came in upset. So, I went in to see. I remember being so touched, watching those little children hug and reassure their classmate.
For the past 12 years, I have seen members of the graduating class of 2018 illustrate that tight-knit bond over and over. When Jacob and his classmates were in fourth grade, I remember parents being called in for a meeting. We were told by teachers that they had never seen a more social class. In fact, their constant talking had gotten them into trouble on more than one occasion. I don’t remember the details, but their year-end class trip was changed because of it.
When those Simpson kids got to Bridgeport Middle School, they met up with those from Johnson Elementary; their other half, so to speak. There was an instant bond. Jacob’s circle of friends expanded right away. They started hanging out at the mall, at ballgames, at each other’s houses. They had fun together. They truly cared about each other and always had each other’s backs.
As they transitioned into their teen years, I noticed these kids displaying qualities that oftentimes adults do not. When one wouldn’t make an athletic team, homecoming court or some other group, there were no condescending attitudes. In fact, it wasn’t mentioned or even talked about when they were all together. Nothing changed between them. They were happy for each other, regardless of their own situation.
In high school, they worked together on homecoming floats, cheered each other on at the basketball court; the football, soccer and baseball fields.They made and displayed signs to support each other. They dressed for game themes and fired each other up. They yelled until their voices were shot. There was always a pat on the back – whether it was to celebrate victory or console after defeat. 
They have played ball and music together, danced together, eaten, laughed and traveled together. Some boarded the Gateway Clipper and even traveled to France and the Greek Islands together. Some have volunteered together – bathing puppies at the Humane Society or serving at the Clarksburg Mission. They’ve decorated for school dances, shopped for gowns, got fitted for tuxes. Recently, they have hunted each other down for the annual game of “Gotcha.” Not surprising, when one would get out, he or she would help others with their own pursuit. But perhaps most memorable, they have loved spending time together.
Throughout the past four years, I’ve been privileged to interview athletes, musicians, dancers and theater enthusiasts; those who service their school and community; those who have excelled academically. They never cease to amaze me. They are driven. They are well-spoken. They are humble. They are sincere. They get back up when they get knocked down. They soak up the present and keep an eye on the future.
In recent weeks, I’ve talked with many members of the Bridgeport High School class of 2018. I’ve loved hearing their plans and dreams. They are excited for each other. Many will continue their education at West Virginia University, Fairmont State and other local colleges. Others will leave the state, some continuing the talents they developed and fine-tuned at BHS. I have absolutely no doubt that the class of 2018 will remain close.
I can see it now: When they return to Bridgeport for holiday and summer breaks – or for their 10-year class reunion – there will be plenty of hugging and reassuring. They’ve had a lot of practice.
I extend my love and best wishes to each member of this year’s graduating class of Bridgeport High School. You guys are special indeed. I cannot wait to see what you’re going to do out there.


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