With many supportive teachers, family members and other community members “adopting” seniors, celebrating them with gift baskets and other treats to make their senior year, cut short by the COVID-19 crisis, a little brighter, two Robert E. Lee High School Spanish teachers found themselves facing a dilemma. How could they each choose just one senior to sponsor when they have so many in their AP and regular Spanish classes?

Putting their heads together, Patricia Kerr and Hugo Gamboa came up with a creative idea that solved their problem. Kerr’s home is on Scott’s Bay, and Gamboa is a professional photographer, so they offered free, professional-caliber photography sessions to all their special graduates.

“It gave us the opportunity to adopt everyone who wanted to participate rather than trying to adopt just one or two seniors,” Kerr said. “We set aside three days at my home to hold our event.”

Utilizing the appointment scheduling feature in Google Calendar, Kerr and Gamboa created time blocks so that students could enroll. 

Kerr provided snacks and drinks, while Gamboa handled the photography for the nine students and their families.

“The end of our school year was upended by COVID-19, and this was a particularly special event, because in virtually every case, parents, siblings, aunts and uncles came along to be part of the students’ big day,” Kerr said. “We love our seniors and want them to understand how special their accomplishment is to us.”

Karina Rodriguez was grateful for the offer, especially since she had not taken senior photos.

“I appreciate the time they took to make us feel special,” Karina said. “I’ll always be able to have a memory of my senior year.”

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