CET Hosts Farewell Parade for Departing Exchange Student


Since COVID-19 arrived in Michigan on March 10, it seems like the world around us has dramatically changed. From businesses closing, to public schools being online, drastic changes are being made in defense of our safety.  For CHS junior, Leda Santic, COVID-19 presented a series of different challenges that not many people will experience.  

For those who don’t know, Santic is an exchange student from Bosnia, who was staying here in Ann Arbor for what was supposed to be for a 10 month exchange year. As an exchange student, Santic did an extraordinary job of connecting with her peers and becoming one of Community Ensemble Theatre’s top leaders and CHS’s excelling poets- all within a very short time. Santic has made her name known as CET’s Props Crew Head for their now postponed show “The Tempest” and a top winner for competing poetry slams for the Poetry Club. 

However on April 5, Santic’s foreign exchange program made the bold choice to end all student’s exchange years as soon as possible in concern of safety from the fast  spreading and dangerous COVID-19 outbreak. As a result, Santic  had to have her cultural excursion end on April 8 instead of the expected date of June 10. 

In response, CET and the Poetry Club anticipated a proper goodbye, however due to social distancing orders they had to improvise. On April 7, CET and the poetry club came together to put on a drive by parade as a proper farewell. This way anyone who wished to, could say their goodbyes and still stay safe. 

The parade started with around 30 cars lining up in front of  Santic’s home. Once the clock hit 7:00 p.m., the long line of vehicles being led by CET director Quinn Strassel began to pass by her home.  As fellow students, teachers, club leaders, and friends passed by they waved homemade signs, beeped their car horns, wished Santic safe travels and said their final goodbyes. 

In awe of everyone’s arrival, Santic was able to come up to each car to wave and say farewell. Even though a parade isn’t what would typically happen for a goodbye celebration, it certainly did prove the love and respect CHS has for its students and staff. And even though the parade was short, the one last harrah was able to show Santic how CHS cares and was able to experience the Community Difference.