Celebrities wish Darien High’s Class of 2020 well in senior send-off video
Darien High grads, once the coronavirus pandemic passes, should have the biggest party ever, and make sure to have “lots of chili.”
That was the wish of Brian Baumgartner, actor and director, who played Kevin Malone on The Office, in a video created by Darien’s senior send-off committee. The effort was one of the many efforts of the committee, including a surprise of t-shirts, lawn signs, Adopt-a-senior, a gift of car decorations, and more.
The video, which is privately password protected, was a gift to Class of 2020.
Baumgartner was referring to his character’s reference to his “famous” chili recipe, which he spills all over the floor in an iconic episode.
Darien’s senior send-off committee created the video, which included a view of the school, and an extended slideshow that covered the arts, athletics, the 2019 prom for the senior class, a slideshow of Friday’s car parade and raffle winners.
The opening of the video featured several notable and recognizable well-wishers. It opened with Amanda Gorman a Harvard graduate, poet and activist, who offered a reading of poem.
“This is our moment, this took a village,” Gorman said.
“This 2020 class won’t just navigate the new normal, we will build a new one,” she said.
NBC sportscaster Mike Tirico spoke about how he understood some of what the Class of 2020 was feeling as he has a daughter who is also a high school senior.
“It’s not fair, it’s not right — you deserve better,” he said.
“This doesn’t mean all your accomplishment have gone for naught, you’ve had an incredible career,” he said.
Tirico said the Class of 2020 are going to be special people due to went they went through, and will be “forever stronger.”
Singer, songwriter and talk-show host Kelly Clarkson gave a robust “Roll Wave!” at the end of her comments.
“Congratulations — to each of you. You have earned it. We all know these are strange and uncertain times. This is not what you expected for your senior year,”
Clarkson also encouraged the students that they will “get through this” and joked that their future had a lot of promise, because, if nothing else, “you’ve had a lot of time to think about it.”
“You’ve also had time to create wonderful memories with family and friends — you will be able to keep all those memories,” she said.
Additional comments were made by musician Flo Rida, who encouraged the graduates to be “strong and be proud.”
Musician Taylor Felt said she was “grateful to know a bunch of you,” and encouraged graduates to “stay focused. If you love it, keep going for it.”
Former New York Giant Justin Tuck said even though the end of the year was not what the students expected, I know your parents, teachers, and community are proud of you, and you should be too.”
“Stay strong, Blue Wave and I know you will be able to celebrate soon. Roll Wave,” Tuck said.
Baumgartner, who played Kevin from 2005 to 2013, opened his portion of the video with “Surprise! It’s me!’
He said that he was reached out to for the video because “you guys have missed a lot,” including internships, prom and “senior skip day.”
Baumgartner then joked that the seniors have had “skip day” for two months.
“Congratulations on your momentous and stupendous accomplishment,” he said.
“Roll wave and good luck,” Baumgartner said.