Farragut stands strong during COVID-19

The Farragut community comes together during the challenges of a global pandemic. Here are some of those stories.

How the school continues to persevere

Even before any stay-at-home orders shifted learning from the campus to the computer, Farragut was taking action. 

Director of Student Health Services Suzanne Douglass took the lead, updating protocols and instructing students and employees alike on hygiene, handwashing, and social distancing. Very quickly, the school launched a dedicated landing page, social media posts, emails, and video messages from a variety of campus leaders — including Headmaster Bob Fine, Head of Upper School Tom McGlinn, Residential Life Director Pete Vaughn, Head of Lower School Anita Fine, and Douglass. 

There has been a lot to communicate. Besides the updated protocols and instructions, Farragut created quarantine rooms, purchased facemasks for students, increased its cleaning of common areas, classrooms, and the dormitories, and instituted campus-wide nightly sanitizations. Learn more here.

Meanwhile, the Farragut Admissions and Marketing team created new virtual admission experiences for prospective families. During quarantine they hosted two Upper and Boarding School Virtual Open Houses via webinar in April, and launched a new Virtual Campus Tour video in May. View the video here.

And in preparation for the 2020-21 school year, two of Farragut’s master carpenters — Greg Stabile and Rafy Ferrer — custom-built 16 high-top tables for the East Lounge and West Lounge. These will allow students to eat in spaces beyond the Mess Hall, promoting social distancing.


How events were celebrated

 

In Upper School, the Class of 2020 graduation occurred as scheduled, on May 16, 2020, but this time it was virtual. The commencement video, which aired on youTube and social media, included student speakers (on stage in DeSeta Hall) as well as inspiring video submissions from several Farragut alumni. This and other videos celebrating our seniors are posted on Farragut’s website. Watch the videos here.

In addition, the Alumni team celebrated our local seniors with one-of-a-kind yard signs in their front yards. And, although spring athletic events were canceled, BlueJacket Lacrosse and Softball team parents and coaches surprised local senior athletes with front-door decorations at their homes.

A limited-attendance, on-campus graduation was held on Thursday, June 18th.

The future Class of 2025 (this year’s 7th-graders) were celebrated with their own special Lower School graduation video featuring Head of Lower School Anita Fine and Assistant Principal of PreK-12 Jennifer Grabowski. For the Prek-6th graders and their families, teachers shared heartwarming videos. The Lower School also held an end-of-the-year drive-through celebration in which families and students said hello to their teachers, returned library books, and collected their yearbooks, awards, artwork, and other items. View the story here.


How our community helped others

The Cooney family, including Farragut students Maya ‘20 and Michael ‘16, made more than 700 crochet and button extenders to add onto face masks. The extenders are being used by more than a dozen health care facilities, banks, and restaurant employees. Local news channel BayNews9 carried the story. View the story here.

From home, Lower School STEM Teacher Shannon LoRusso and her daughter Julia ‘24 (pictured) used the school’s 3D printer, computer, and numerous rolls of PLA filament to create high-efficiency filtration Montana Masks and Face Shields for health care workers. View the story here.

 

Thank you to a few of our alumni healthcare workers on the frontlines including Dr. Michael Sebesta ’88N (who left his home in Texas to work in a NYC ICU), and nurses Mark Allen ‘92 and Noah Silverberg ‘09.

Troy Burke ‘86S donates meals to frontline organizations such as Cayman Islands Health Services Authority and a local school in Grand Cayman. Burke is the managing director and owner of a chain of Subway restaurants in the Cayman Islands.

Scott Hansen ‘90N launched a “Spread the Love” Relief Fund and raised money by selling merchandise with 100 percent of the profits supporting hospitality workers in the Southeast. Hansen is co-owner and founder of Island Brands, a premium beer and lifestyle brand based in Charleston, SC.


Juliet Wheeler Mann ’12, now a 2nd grade teacher at Bardmoor Elementary, was recognized on BayNews9 as an “A+ Teacher” for her creative way to get her students to submit assignments. Each week students who turned in assignments were added to a raffle and she provided lunch to the lucky winner. This encouraged students to continue school from home.