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Cap and Gown Countdown

Seniors discuss their feelings leading up to graduation.

Photo+by+Emily+Dare
Photo by Emily Dare

Photo by Emily Dare

Photo by Emily Dare

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Photo by Joey O’Kelly

    Thirteen years of education leads to one thing that people look forward to from the very first day school: graduation. Regardless of the fear of the unknown some seniors may be facing, the excitement of 2018’s seniors can’t be suppressed as the ceremony draws near.

   The Graduating Class of 2018 will experience this moment of accomplishment on May 13 at the Silverstein Eye Center Arena.

The Preparation

   Before the ceremony, there’s a lot of preparation to make the day special for everyone.

   “It’s a huge celebration and we start working on it the day after the conclusion of the former classes graduation,” Principal April Adams said.

   One of the new events that have been offered to students is auditioning to give a speech with a positive message to the graduating class. This year seniors Amos Mwaura and Zach Sauer have been chosen to speak.

   On May 11, two days before graduation, StuCo will host the Senior Breakfast.

   “We serve a traditional breakfast of bacon, eggs, potatoes, fruit, donuts, things like that,” Lead Student Council Advisor Erin Ramsey said. “Then we usually have a senior slideshow. It gives the senior choir one last chance to perform. Depending on the year, we have little program presentations while everyone is eating, then when they are done they head to graduation practice.”

   During the graduation practice all seniors line up and walk through the ceremony plans.

   After practice, there is Baccalaureate.

“Baccalaureate is actually hosted by the Administry Alliance and that’s a prayer over the senior class,” Adams said. “On the evening of graduation practice, the prayer services are held by the Administry Alliance. Then Sunday is graduation.” The prayer service is not a required event for seniors to attend.

Staff Thoughts

   Graduation does not just excite the students moving on from high school, but also teachers who have watched them grow into young adults.

   “I love graduation,” Adams said. “Each year when I look out over the senior class, I just know the journey’s of so many people, their celebrations and sorrows. There is such a level of pride that this is the culmination of 13 years in public education. It is a launch point for these young, brilliant minds to move into the next phase of their lives and it is thrilling. It’s also sad because we are losing an amazing class of great students.”

Senior Thoughts

   Seniors can’t help but feel eagar looking towards the future after spending years with the same people.

   “I see graduation as a milestone in your life,” senior Zack Zellack said. “Not everybody gets to walk the stage at high school graduation and it definitely represents the end of a chapter in your life, and the beginning of a new one. Once you walk up that podium your life really starts.”

   Senior Emily Goodwin agrees.

   “I’m excited for my high school career to end and for the rest of my life to start,” Goodwin said. “You get to a point in high school when you’re ready to move on and experience everything that adult life and independence has to offer you.”

After Graduation

   The lives of the graduation class after the ceremony varies, as some are going to work or graduate school to perfect a craft and others are preparing for college life.                 

   As graduation approaches, seniors are passing down their advice and preparing to say goodbye to LHS. In just a little over a week, the 2018 senior class will be turning the page into the next chapter of their lives.

   “Most people are probably going to college, but I’m just going to work for now,” Zellack said. “I’m probably going to work two jobs and I’m just going to save until the end of 2019 so that I can move back to Florida, where I’m from. Then I’m going to get my real estate license there.”

   The Missouri A+ program has also benefited many seniors as they prepare for their free two years of community college.

   “After graduation I am working and then going to Maple Woods for two years,” Willett said.

   “For other students, a four year college is the goal.”

   “I’m going to Missouri State for vocal performance and then I’m going to go to graduate school at Boston University for opera singing,” Goodwin said.

Traditions

   Many traditions have formed over the years. One of those has been senior skip day, which was observed on April 13.

   “I don’t participate in senior skip day, I’m an attendance freak,” Zellack said. “I don’t really participate in any graduation traditions besides the ceremonies.”

   Other traditions include graduation parties.

   “I’m having my graduation party with my friend Ben,” Goodwin said. “It’s very stressful to plan, but I’m really excited for all of my friends to get together one last time while we’re all in high school.”

   Others have opted for alternative methods of celebration.

   “I’m not having a graduation party because my parents offered me more money if I didn’t have one. So obviously I chose the money,” Willett said.

   Zellack’s favorite memory is the athletic events.

   “Going to all of the sports games, especially this year because the student section has really showed out,” Zellack said.

   Goodwin will reminisce on her years in the theater department.

   “The theater department is a very close group of people and every show that I’ve been in I’ve always felt very loved and appreciated,” Goodwin said.

   Seniors have made plenty of mistakes throughout the last four years as a student and they hope that underclassman learn from theirs.

   “Every year counts, but junior year is the year with the most work,” Zellack said. “Always do your work and it’ll pay off in the end.”

Blue Jay Pride

   After graduation, seniors feel they will always be proud to be a blue jay.

   “I’m definitely going to miss all of our Blue Jay cheers at sporting events and the teachers and students who really shaped me,” Goodwin said. “In high school everyone faces their own struggles repeats, so when you get that diploma you finally realize that you’ve gotten through everything that was thrown at you. Even if it isn’t the last diploma you get, it’s one of the most important ones to me.”

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