With graduation canceled, principal drives 800 miles to congratulate each senior in person
via Virdie Montgomery / Facebook

The COVID-19 pandemic has to be a real letdown for the Class of 2020. They've worked years to earn their graduation, prom, baccalaureate, and senior banquets all to have it wiped away by the pandemic.

The end of the 2020 school year is also a disappointment for teachers and staff at schools across the country. They also feel a sense of tremendous pride in watching their students graduate.

Virdie Montgomery, the principal of Wylie High School in Texas, didn't feel like he was doing enough to congratulate the class of 2020, so he decided he would do so in person to all 612 graduating seniors.


After all, the self-described "66-year-old, fat, bald principal" was known for his exuberant school spirit. He once dressed as an Elf on the Shelf and perched himself on top of the school's marquee to celebrate the holidays.

via Virdie Montgomery / Facebook

"I get emotional real easy with my kids," he told WFAA. "And I just didn't feel like I was doing enough. It just seemed like the right thing to do."

So the principal and his wife jumped in their car and got to work.

"She told me I was crazy," Montgomery said. "I tell you what, that first day, at the end of the first day it felt like I had made a mistake. Because it was hard," he said. He delivered a Snickers candy bar to each student and it came along with a dad joke.

He told them each that they'd look back on these days and "snicker." "I delivered that joke nearly 600 times. So it's pretty lame," he admitted.

"I just love our kids and they have awesome families I have found," he wrote on Facebook. "If I missed someone it was totally by chance."

It took 12 days and put over 800 miles on his car's odometer but Montgomery and his wife were able to reach all 612 seniors at trips to 636 addresses.

"I am now a well-traveled Wylie person and found parts of the town I did not know existed and so many Pirates that live on the other side of town was humorous as well," he wrote on Facebook.

The principal hopes that someday his school will be able to hold a graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020. Texas's statewide stay-at-home order ended on Thursday so people are starting to get back to normal.

Non-essential businesses, including shopping malls, retail establishments, movie theaters, are now allowed to operate at 25% capacity. Museums, libraries, and restaurants are now open as longs as people practice social distancing.

Large gatherings in the state are still forbidden until further notice.

Montgomery's trip surely brightened the days of his students on lockdown, but it meant just as much to him. "All I know is that for me it was something I needed to do," he said, "I can't adequately describe the reward it is to get to do this and see these kids in their natural environment."







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Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


*Upworthy may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through affiliate links on our site.

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This article originally appeared on 03.19.15


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