Viera High puts up sign to honor graduating seniors


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A sign was installed just outside of Hawk Stadium Thursday morning that lists the names of all 531 members of Viera High School's 2020 graduating seniors.

VIERA VOICE Carl Kotala

Viera High School’s graduating seniors will be in for a surprise when they come to campus to pick up their yearbooks Friday morning:

A sign posted outside Hawk Stadium that lists all 531 names of the Class of 2020.

Assistant athletic director and head cheerleading coach Cheryl Draves, working in conjunction with the school’s Student Government Association (SGA), arranged for the sign to be put up by Berry Signs, Inc. on Thursday morning.

“I really just wanted something to show the senior class they’re not alone … because everything else has been taken away from them,” Draves said. “I know this is something little, but I wanted to let them know we’re still here for them.”

With Brevard Public Schools shut down since mid-March due to the coronavirus, the class of 2020 did not get to celebrate all of the events that come with a traditional senior year – including prom, and of course, a graduation ceremony.

Draves, who got the idea while putting together signs for her cheerleaders, said the process of getting the sign made was relatively easy.

“I had the backing of the administration,” she said. “They also wanted to find something we could present to the seniors, so they knew we stood behind them, that we appreciate them and that all of their hard work wasn’t going unnoticed.

“I think this is something the kids will appreciate it. Like I said, it’s something small, but sometimes something small can mean a lot.”

Seniors will not only be able to see the sign when they pick up their yearbooks on Friday, but Draves said she hopes it will stay up for a long time.

That’s not all that’s in store for the seniors. At 8:20 p.m. on Friday, when the school honors the “Be the Light” observance going on throughout the country in reaction to the pandemic by turning on the Hawk Stadium lights and putting the No. 20 on each side of the scoreboard, Viera High teacher Jeff Draves will read the names of all the graduating seniors in the 2020 class.

The event will be streamed live on YouTube.

“That was the significance of putting (the sign) up today, so it was here for them, on their graduation day,” Cheryl Draves said.

Given the circumstances, the school is doing its best to make Friday a special one for its graduating class, which includes Kylea Draves – Cheryl’s daughter.

“I walked in hand-in-hand with her freshman year in 2016,” Cheryl Draves said. “I was hoping to walk out hand-in-hand with her, but that didn’t happen.

“This is just as much for all of the parents as it is for the kids.”

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