Live Mic: High school senior navigates graduation, serious life challenges

May 19, 2020, 2:58 PM | Updated: Dec 30, 2022, 11:36 am
Students in graduation caps. The Utah graduation rate went up over the past few years....
Utah graduation rates continue to see in increase. Photo: Butch Dill, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY — Lee Lonsberry loved his high school senior year and so he is saddened that this year’s graduating class has had to forgo the prom, the in-person graduation ceremony and the late-night hangouts with friends.

Corner Canyon High School senior and soon-to-be graduate John Glavin has been the rock to his mother, who is battling cancer. While taking care of chores around the house — Dad works out of state — he is a trombonist in the school jazz band and a running back on his school football team.

John joined Lee on Live Mic to talk about graduating during a global pandemic.

“Your mother has had some health challenges. You’ve had to step up both physically and emotionally. How has that been?” Lee asked.

“Different things can just happen at a random point in time. Like this virus, no one thought it could happen, but it happens,” John said.

Advice to others in same spot

“You’ve learned probably more lessons about dealing with unexpected than rest of your classmates…What advice would you give to other people in your circumstance?” Lee asked.

“Just remember that everyone’s having the same deal that you’re having right now,” John said. “Try to enjoy spending time with your family right now. Enjoy trying to get outside. I’ve seen more people outside than I’ve ever seen before. Enjoy the smaller things.”

“You make a good point there. Remember, you’re not alone. You’re not the only one going through it,” Lee said. “I remember having these thoughts in high school. I would beat myself up or get down on myself and think my problems were unique.

“The truth is you, along with every other member of the Class of 2020, are going through this exact same thing,” Lee said. “So if you get feeling sorry for yourself, if you think you’re the only one going through this, know that there are countless other hundreds of thousands of high school seniors if not millions across Utah and across the country dealing with the exact same thing.”

School band

John told Lee he plays second chair trombone in the school jazz band. Lee shared that he was a saxophonist in his school band.

Lee encouraged John, after his high school days have long since passed, to remember the jazz-band time because “those are really, really fun times.”

“Because of jazz band, I’ve maintained some of those friendships,” Lee said.

Navy full steam ahead

John said the highlight of his high school football season was stepping up to fill  in for the starting running back who was injured. The high school senior started the last two games of the season.

“What’s up for you next year?” Lee asked.

“I leave for Navy Boot Camp on August 4,” John said.

“Congratulations,” Lee said.

“I feel like I’m doing something good with my life,” John said.

“Absolutely. Good for you,” Lee said. “I’m proud of you. I’m excited for your future.”


Live Mic with Lee Lonsberry can be heard weekdays from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

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Live Mic: High school senior navigates graduation, serious life challenges