Hancock High School on Friday unveiled its surprise for the graduating class of 2020, a banner display for each graduating senior. Teachers, staff, and members of the Hawk Foundation worked through the night and rain to install the banners.

Back in April, the Hancock High Education Foundation Inc., a 501 (c) (3) non-profit, created a GoFundMe account to help the surprise the school’s nearly 300 seniors, Hancock High School principal Tara Ladner said.  In less than 20 hours, the foundation reached its goal of $7,000, plus $3,000 on top of that. 

Ladner said she was overwhelmed at how “responsive and generous” the community has been. 

The idea for the banners came from Family and Consumer Science teacher and assistant football coach Taylor LaFontaine, she said. He had researched ways various other schools were honoring their seniors during this time. 

“Ordinary folks made this possible,” Ladner said. “We asked them to sponsor a senior for $45, which was the cost of the banner and pole. We got more than we asked for. I think everyone in the community wanted to make sure these kids weren’t forgotten. We all wanted to help.” 

There are 292 senior banners lining the streets around the high school, Ladner said, located at 7084 Stennis Airport Rd., Kiln.

On Thursday, May 21, from 7 to 8 p.m. the community is invited to parade by and send seniors well wishes, Ladner said. Each senior will be standing by his or her banner. 

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