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Poplar Springs and Drew Baldridge bring ray of light to senior year

Kevin Boyer

POPLAR SPRINGS - As the school year draws to a unique close for this seniors who faced many cherished memories taken away due to COVID, Poplar Springs Principal Farica West and country music legend Drew Baldridge were determined to give the students one last ray of sunshine through the dark clouds.

Baldrige said he saw West on Fox and Friends talking about the banners she had done for them and after speaking with her, they came up with a great plan to give the students a send off like no other. While the school planned a unique parade to showcase the students at the school, Baldridge agreed to perform for the seniors in person.

The song Baldridge dedicated to the students, “Senior Year” was one he said he felt like he wrote for this event itself.

“It’s crazy I wrote this song a year ago and it feels like I wrote it just for this moment,“ he said. ”because it says (in the song) we thought it would never disappear, senior year.“

Baldrige said the song took on a new meaning for the seniors of 2020. He said is one goal was to get as many seniors as possible to hear the song.

“I feel like it brings light into this tough time they are dealing with.” Baldridge said.

He said this performance is special for him as he thinks back to his own senior year in a small community and as he watched family members drive by during the parade to congratulate their students.

“I got tears in my eyes,” he said.

Farica West, principal, said to her the event was, “better than graduation.“

“We may have to start doing (a parade) every year no matter what,” West said.

West said the event was made possible because of God and she was giving all the glory and honor to him. She told her 28 seniors that she was proud of them and loved them all.

“I just want to hug all of you but I can’t,” she said.

Seeing the smiles and tears in the seniors eyes as well as the parents, this event will stay with the seniors as a cherished memory. For the community, the event marked a moment described as a “ray of sunshine though these dark, terrible clouds.”