Cherish senior legacies, build community

As seniors prepare to leave, community should reflect on their legacy

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Isabel Saavedra-Weis

More stories from Isabel Saavedra-Weis

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Cherish senior legacies, build community

The mentor program should expand through out  the year to complete a full circle between the seniors and ninth graders.

The mentor program should expand through out the year to complete a full circle between the seniors and ninth graders.

Isabel Saavedra-Weis

The mentor program should expand through out the year to complete a full circle between the seniors and ninth graders.

Isabel Saavedra-Weis

Isabel Saavedra-Weis

The mentor program should expand through out the year to complete a full circle between the seniors and ninth graders.

Every spring, like clockwork, the whole school has a shift. Ninth graders are ready to not be the youngest, sophomores are ready to be upperclassmen, juniors are ready to be the oldest in the school and get senior privileges, and seniors are ready to graduate and start the next chapter of their lives. And although everyone is looking forward to the next step, the end of year still can feel like it came out of nowhere. Suddenly, the seniors are gone on senior project, and although it’s noticeable and different, there is barely time in between sports, homework and studying for exams to really reflect on what it means when a senior class leaves.

The school needs to take time during the school year to publicly appreciate the seniors and the legacies they leave behind. Every class is different, and as graduation comes, the vibe of the school changes as those people go. Each class brings its own energy, changes the rules and norms in their own way and leaves the school different than how it was when they came. It is important for the school to take time to notice see what the seniors brought to the school and thank them for it.

Each class brings its own energy, changes the rules and norms in their own way and leaves the school different than how it was when they came.”

One example of how to work more senior appreciation into a program that is already standing is lengthening the Mentor/Mentee Program. The program that was meant to make connections between upperclassmen and ninth grade seems to fade after the first couple weeks of school. After that, connections dwindle as the year gets busier. More effort should be in keeping the connections between mentors and mentees throughout the school year with more mandatory meetings. At the end of the year, ninth graders should write thank you notes for things that the senior taught them. Making better connections between the youngest and oldest grade will give seniors the perfect opportunity to share their best advice and leave their legacy with people who will be able to use their wise words for the next three years.  

This years’ seniors have made changes in our school that have pushed us to be more aware of how our school is affecting the larger community. The rain garden that was installed and the annual speaker day are two examples of ways the seniors got the rest of the school to open our eyes. If these two major changes in the school were brought just by one class of seniors, imagine how much this school will change in a couple years.

Letting the seniors know that what they brought to the school will both make seniors feel appreciated, give closure to the end of the year for the rest of the students, and inspire younger classes to make their own mark as a class before they leave.   

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