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Billboard photos honor James Clemens seniors

MADISON – The COVID-19 pandemic has squashed traditional parties and ceremonies for seniors in the Class of 2020. However, the staff at James Clemens High School, along with parents and business owners, has placed the seniors in prominent position.

In different sections of Madison, three billboards – two with the seniors’ photographs – are honoring the James Clemens graduates.

“We wanted to do something to honor our seniors in this tough time,” James Clemens Principal Dr. Brian Clayton said. “They did get to go through the normal honor programs that other classes have received.”

“We wanted to let them know that we are still thinking of them and how much we care about them,” Clayton said.

The billboard at the intersection of County Line Road and U.S. 72 is a static display. A message on this billboard states “Congratulations — Class of 2020. James Clemens High School.”

Two digital signs rotate a display of all the seniors’ photographs. One sign is located at I-565 near Toyota Field, home of the Trash Pandas Minor League Baseball Team. The other sign’s location is the intersection of U.S 72 and Balch Road.

“The digital billboards rotate four students at a time and feature all 470 seniors,” Clayton said.

Clayton proposed the idea for the sign. “But we worked hand in hand with Mrs. Meleighsa McLaughlin, Mr. Greg Machen and Lamar Signs,” Clayton said. Lamar Signs “helped us tremendously” with the fee of the billboards.

Students and parents have commented on the gesture of recognition for the seniors. “All of feedback has been outstanding. I hope they all get their picture made by the signs,” he said.

The digital billboards went ‘live’ on May 1st. The rotating displays for the seniors will continue through May 28.

Fortunately, the Class of 2020 will have a graduation service of some type. “We plan to have a ceremony. We just don’t know what it will look like. We have a date of June 29,” Clayton said.

“We are very proud this group (of seniors),” Clayton said. “We miss them.”

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