AURORA | Tari Wood’s family couldn’t be much more invested in Grandview High School and the proof appeared all over the place Monday morning at its graduation ceremony.
Wood and her husband, Brian, both teach science and coach soccer at the school and their five children — Cayla, plus twins April and Mia and Cobi and Lyssa — each went through traditional Grandview graduations in years past.
The Class of 2020’s graduation looked entirely different in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic as every graduate in attendance at Stutler Bowl were required to wear a mask. And they weren’t just any masks, they were custom made by Wood and her family.
“Lisa (Roberts, Grandview’s principal) contacted me and said it looks like we’re going to have a graduation in late July and everybody is going to need masks, can you make them for us?'” Wood told the Sentinel. “It was truly an effort by just about everybody in the house.
“All the kids were invested in it. It’s kind of who we are as a family. If somebody needs something, everybody pitches in to help.”
Roberts knew the ask to get masks was a big one, but she made the request to the right person.
“Tari is one of the busiest people I know, but as the saying goes, ‘When you want something done, ask a busy person,'” Roberts said. “Tari juggles everything so well, and she leads with her heart. This was truly a labor of love for her. She cares about all of our students.”
The Wood family had been making masks for hospitals, friends and Grandview staff for quite some time, but the school masks provided a unique challenge.
The masks included three elements, a Grandview’s wolf logo — which Wood had for making uniforms and clothing for soccer — along with “Class of 2020” and “One Pack.” Each of the three elements were cut out by family members and then heat-pressed onto the masks sewed by Wood and her 90-year-old mother, Dee Gustafson, who had moved in with the family at the start of the pandemic.
After a month and a half of work — going a little slower than their goal of making 50 per day — the Woods were able to provide the school over 700 masks in three different sizes (medium, large and extra large) and all were on display at the graduation ceremony.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports