2020: A Year In Review


Students rock the house at Winter Ball in January! Photo: Colby Skoglund

2020, what a year! At BHS, 2020 started in a typical fashion with new energy from well-rested teenagers and teachers. Quickly the year ventured off the beaten path. All traditional high school classes and activities met a global pandemic, Black Lives Matter protests erupted across the nation, PCBs caused remote education and Joe Biden won a much-anticipated presidential election. Among a whirlwind of emotions, 2020 brought joy, fear, surprise, devastation, and hope. Who knows what 2021 will bring but certainly 2020 will be hard to forget. 

Here are some memorable moments:


Wednesday, January 8

BHS Indoor track and Nordic teams ditched traditional training and practiced with a competitive game of tag inside the school building. 


Thursday, January 30

BHS hosted an orchestra and chorus concert for the high school, middle school, and elementary school ensembles in the district.  The concert ended with a combined performance of Ode to Joy. 


Davis, Corey, Silas, and Ethan chatting after their Nordic ski race on Saturday. Photo: Rebecca Cunningham/Register

Friday, February 7

Snow day! Burlington students woke up early to hit the slopes or enjoyed the weather from under their covers. 


Photo: Colby Skoglund

Saturday, February 8

Students partied hard at Winter Ball especially shaking the room to Dancing Queen, Raise your Glass, and Sweet Caroline. 


Photo: Colby Skoglund

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, February 19, 20, 21

Nine students directed eight short plays, including some originals, in the One-Act Festival. Read more at BHS writers, directors, and performers ready for the annual One Act Festival


Photo: Colby Skoglund

Friday, March 6

The student Planning Committee organized a pep rally for the BHS/Colchester championship game where a game of tug-a-war stole the show. 


Photo: Colby Skoglund

Monday, March 9

Slated to win, the BHS/Colchester girls hockey team fell to Essex 3-1 in the state Championships. Just like the BHS/Colchester athletes, BHS superfans did not let up until the final whistle. Read more at Burlington-Colchester Sealakers advance to girls hockey finals


Photo: in an email sent by Superintendent Flanagan

Thursday, March 12

The Burlington School District (BSD) School Board voted unanimously to hire Tom Flanagan as the new BSD superintendent. 


Friday, March 13

Thursday and Friday many students received emails about postponed events in response to Covid-19 and school cancellation became a prominent concern among teachers and students. 


Sunday, March 15

BHS transitioned to a remote learning instructional model on Wednesday, March 18, following an order from Governor Scott due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more at Keeping distance: Seahorses navigate the first weeks of remote learning


April 1

Register headlines!


Photo: @seahorsespirit802

Monday, May 25 – Friday, May 27

BHS Administrators organized a virtual spirit week with a teacher TikTok challenge on Tuesday, a sports day on Wednesday, a blue and white day on Thursday, and a Formal Friday using the Instagram account @seahorsespirit802 to share highlights. 


Friday, June 12

The BHS senior class of 2020 graduated! During June, faculty members dressed up to deliver caps and gowns, hosted a car parade, and cheered seniors on as they each rang the graduation bell. Graduation concluded with a virtual celebration on Friday. 


Sunday, June 14

BHS students hosted a socially distanced track meet. The Athletic Department forgot to unlock the gate but BHS students taught everyone how to jump the fence. 



Summer school for students with additional learning needs ran smoothly which encouraged the Burlington School District to open schools for all students in September. 


Photo: Shannon Walters

Friday, August 14

BHS library hedgehog Otie passed away.


Photo: Anna Huener


Many BHS students became involved in the Black Lives Matter movement by attending city protests and using their voices to advocate for racial justice. Read more at “This is our thing”: Burlington Youth take Action in Black Lives Matter

Photo: Colby Skoglund

Tuesday, September 8

Freshmen Orientation doubled as the first and last day of school at BHS for the incoming seahorses. PCBs found in the air quilty forced the school building to close the next day. 


Tuesday, September 8

First day of try-outs for fall sports. The atmosphere hummed with nervousness and excitement. 


Photo: Brain McDonnell

Saturday, October 31

Ranked 6th before racing on Saturday, the BHS girls cross country team won second in the state championships.


Tuesday, November 3

Election day! Many BHS students volunteered at the polls or voted themselves for, among other ballot items, the next American president. 


Photo: Hannah Cunningham

Saturday, November 7

After four tense days in anticipation, the Associated Press called the Presidential race for Joe Biden. Many Burlington students celebrated downtown with a parade on church street and United States flags flying from car windows. 


Photo: Colby Skoglund

Saturday, November 7

BHS boys soccer won the state championship against Essex with a deadly shot in overtime. 


Photo: Jason Gingold

Monday, November 9

All BTC classes and programs returned to in-person learning at alternate locations by this day. 


Photo: Colby Skoglund

Friday, November 13

The Burlington School District raised the Black Lives Matter (BLM) at BHS. They raised BLM flags at every other school in the district during November and December. 


Photo: in an email sent by Superintendent Flanagan

Tuesday, November 17

The school board voted to sign a lease contract with the Macys’ owners for 3.5 years. The site will serve as the BHS school building for the foreseeable future. 


Photo: Anessa Conner/Register

Monday and Tuesday, November 23 and 24

BHS students returned to in-person learning on Monday and Tuesday and then every Wednesday at the Edmunds Complex.


Thursday, December 31

Goodbye 2020, welcome 2021!