WGSD: May 8

Dear WGSD Family,

As we near what was expected to be our date for high school graduation (May 12), my thoughts and emotions for the senior class of 2020 continue to build. While the seniors with whom I’ve connected fully understand why the end of their senior year must look different, it’s still really hard for them and many others close to them.  While I do look forward to a wonderful graduation ceremony to honor each and every one of them, it’s my hope that, with respect to the safety and well-being of all, we’re able to do so face to face in either June or July.  We will keep families abreast of the situation as we proceed into the summer.

Earlier in the week, the Virtual Senior Awards Program was shared with me.  I was blown away by the accomplishments of the students and the class!  Please click here to take a look at the program from that night which includes special honors, awards and scholarships earned and received by this remarkable group of young people!  Thanks to all the teachers, staff, families and others who supported the students along their journeys in the WGSD!

As I was further processing this group of students and the end of their K-12 experience, I was hit with the thought that, years from now, they might be one of the more well known, if not the most, classes in WGSD history.  As others look to learn about and from the pandemic, they’ll seek out information and stories on the effect of the virus on schools – namely the people.  People will not just learn of and admire the seniors’ thoughtful and empathetic response to the pandemic, but they’ll learn of the individual and collective accomplishments of the group: academic, artistic, athletic, and others.  And this thought, coupled with all the stories that make up the Class of 2020, put a smile on my face.

In addition, future “googlers” and researchers will also see how others rallied around the children including the parents and staff.  The WGHS Parents Club’s efforts to honor the senior class have been remarkable! Check out the Fox 2 News story below regarding the senior parade they organized and implemented to honor each student!


People searching will also find endearing messages and tributes such as this one from the World Languages Department at WGHS.  What talent!

In closing, for my weekly challenge, I’m asking for your (student, parent, community member) assistance in a video that will be shared with the senior class.  Please respond to the prompt: “My hope for you(seniors)…”  Videos can be sent to simpson.john@wgcloud.org by noon on Tuesday, May 12.  Please don’t overthink it, don’t wonder if the seniors would want to hear from someone they possibly don’t know or worry about the words you share – just share!

With care and gratitude,




What follows is my weekly message to students, followed by recognition of last week’s winners of the student challenge and an introduction of this week’s challenge!  A donation of $50 will be made to the Webster-Rock Hill Ministries in honor of last week’s participants.  Please share it with your children!

Check out Claudia’s telescope made from recycled materials!  Very neat, Claudia!

If your child(ren) would like to submit a video, please:

  • email it to simpson.john@wgcloud.org by noon on Tuesday, May 12,
  • let me know if you don’t want your child’s video included in my weekly message next Friday, and
  • know that donations related to the challenge will not come from district funds.



District Meal Program:  Click here to learn more about the district’s “Grab and Go” breakfast and lunch meal program, free to all children between the ages of 0-18.

Family Meal Support: The Webster-Rock Hill Ministries is providing food to families in need.  Call (961-5082) or stop by during regular business hours (9 – 12 pm, Monday – Friday)

Regional Food and Emotional Well-Being Support: Click here to access a variety of free, regional resources.

Discussing COVID-19 and Death with Children: For support talking to children about things related to COVID-19, including the death of people they know, please access a variety of resources on our COVID-19, “Tips to Talking to Children” web page by clicking here.