Class of 1970 and Class of 2020 Come Together for Aerial Picture

As the class of 2020 approaches graduation, the seniors of Kempsville have been preparing for the occasion. Among the many things the students must complete as the year progresses is the senior aerial picture. However, many things are changing this senior year, starting with the senior picture. 


Usually, during the senior aerial photo, the graduating class lines up on the football field and forms the number of the year they will be graduating. Then Mr. Paul Krekorian, a science teacher here, flies his plane over the field while his flight companion and fellow science teacher Mr. Gil Bantay takes pictures of the senior class in formation. This has been a Kempsville tradition for several years now, but this year, the class of 2020 attempted to do something no other graduating class has done before: take their picture with a past graduating class. 


For their 50-year anniversary, the class of 1970, the first graduating class of Kempsville, came to take part in the senior aerial picture for the class of 2020. Unfortunately, the weather did not permit the class of 1970 to take the aerial picture with the class of 2020, as the photos were taken two hours ahead of the original time due to the rain forecast. However, this did not stop the class of 1970 from taking their picture and interacting with the future graduates of 2020. 


The event was a collaboration of ideas from the senior class council and the Class of 1970. While the event was organized by Ms. Meredith Malbone, history teacher and Senior Class Adviser at Kempsville, and Paxton Coley, a senior class officer, the idea came from Debbie Yancy, a member of the Class of 1970’s Fifty-Year Reunion Committee. She thought it would be a good idea to be part of the Senior picture as a commemoration of the Class of 1970’s fifty-year anniversary, as the Class of 2020 would be the class graduating fifty years after they first graduated. With this idea in mind, she contacted Coley, and they began the planning process for having the class of 1970 come to Kempsville. 


Although things didn’t go exactly as planned for the picture, the class still took advantage of their visit to Kempsville. Most of the participating members said they enjoyed being back and thought the idea to do the picture with the class of 2020 was great, and many reminisced about their time at the school and how much everything has changed. 

Sydney Haulenbeek
The members of the class of 1970, who was the first graduating class of Kempsville, were to take a photo with the class of 2020 to commemorate their fiftieth anniversary but were unable to due to weather.

Cathy White, a Kempsville alumni, recalls some of the details she misses from attending Kempsville. 


“There was so much energy that first year. Actually, all four years!” White said. “I miss the energy. You don’t think, when you’re here, that someday you’ll be back in fifty years.”


Mike Olsen, who was captain of the football team during his time in high school, said that he misses the youth and comradery he had experienced throughout his high school year.  


Barry Basnight, a Kempsville alumni, said he misses the freedom and fun that came with being a high school student. From attending pop festivals to working on the Homecoming Bonfire, Basnight recalls many fond memories of being a Kempsville student. 


“I always told my friends that were really wanting to get out of school, that these are the better days of your life,” Basnight said.  


There were many reactions from the class of 1970 upon meeting the class of 2020; many of them felt amazed, excited and reminiscent. 


“My comment to my classmates: ‘they look like us when we were 16, 17, 18,’” Bob Mandigo, Kempsville alumni, said upon meeting the class of 2020. 


Although things didn’t go exactly as planned, the class of 1970 still enjoyed their time back at Kempsville. The class of 2020 is experiencing many new changes and opportunities this year that no other class has done before, and the class of 1970 is glad that they could be a part of that change.