What a Year! 2020 in Review

A look back through time at one extraordinarily unique year for the Marist School community.

2020+Football+State+Championship+Game

Maddy Djuric

2020 Football State Championship Game

Gigi Glennon, Reviews Editor

What a year! If you had told me that 2020 would bring a state championship in football, a national movement for racial justice, a global pandemic, and so much more, I wouldn’t have believed you. The Marist Fam weathered so much together this past year, but it has made us stronger than ever.

January 2020 started out just like any other year with blue and gold weeks (remember that schedule?), retreats, and school trips. AP studio art and chorale visited New York City—Yes, New York City! We even had the annual winter pep rally. February came and went with many more all-school gatherings including the Sacred Concert and winter sports wrapping up as spring sports geared into motion. The varsity boys’ swim and dive team won the state championship last calendar year as well.

March and April, however, came as a total surprise to many when school and much of the world began closing after spring break. Trips, including Bearing Witness, the Barcelona exchange trip, and the AP art history trips were canceled as Europe went into lockdown. COVID-19 hit society hard, and Marist transitioned to virtual learning and the universe of Google Meets. Students were devastated when what we thought was an extra two-week vacation turned into months away from our friends and the campus we once took for granted.

The 2020 seniors were impacted a lot. In place of a traditional graduation in May, commencement was pushed to July with limited family members in Hughes Spalding Stadium across two separate ceremonies. However, the Marist fam joined together—while 6 feet apart—to say good-bye to the seniors at an epic drive-thru send-off event in May.

As we headed into summer, many students’ plans such as camps, internships, or international trips were canceled. Families stayed home for most of the summer, watching Netflix, trying new hobbies, or playing with their siblings. Over the summer months, the Black Lives Matter movement swept the country following the news of George Floyd’s death and those of other innocent African Americans who were wrongfully killed at the hands of police. Marist School President Fr. Bill Rowland even led Marist families as they marched for racial equality in June with the Archdiocese of Atlanta. 

Eager to start a new school year despite the challenges ahead, the class of 2021 came together for the annual senior sunrise. Marist started opening its doors back up for the new school year with hybrid learning and all sports and extracurriculars with new protocols in place. Although many Marist students were grateful to be back on campus, some missed the extra time in the morning to sleep in, for sure. 

Despite some restrictions, our community was still able to have a spirit week, a socially-distanced student section at football games, senior Halloween, the new color wars, and an outdoor fall play! The play included a series of short skits including a 10-minute Macbeth, a satire of the New York DMV, and a closing dance piece at the end of the evening. 

Finally, after a relaxing Thanksgiving break, all Marist students could return to campus. Many were refreshed to see friends after such a long time apart. Marist’s Varsity Volleyball and Girls Cross Country teams both won state championships, starting out our 2020-2021 athletic season on two high notes! 

Our 2020 year ended with a football championship over Christmas break. Marist families and alumni gathered together at Center Parc Stadium to battle against Jefferson High School. After an intense game, Marist won the class AAAA state championship!

2020 was full of twists, turns, highs, lows, heartbreak, and love. But throughout it all, Marist stayed as a family though it all, virtually and in-person. Let’s bring that energy into 2021!