Members of the class of 2021 enjoy their moment in the limelight as they take part in the senior parade before graduation. The tradition began when the 2020 graduation was postponed due to Covid-19.
Senior year and the activities that go with it are events high school students look forward to as a way to celebrate all their hard work. However, these past few years have looked a little different for the seniors, primarily due to Covid-19. This year’s graduating class is anticipating old and new traditions alike.
“I’m most excited for the senior parade,” said Senior Quinn Giffen, pointing to a more recent addition to the end-of-year festivities. This was first scheduled in 2020.
“I’m most excited for senior prank day because the whole student body is shocked when they walk in school expecting a normal day and then find out the seniors have done something,” said Senior Jada Lance. The class of 2021 placed red plastic cups all over the building on one of their last days in school.
A former MHS student, Lexi Blumhorst, who graduated in 2019, was in the last class to experience a normal year.
“My favorite tradition was senior send-off, where they move each class to the next spot (in the gym) and the seniors get to tell everyone bye,” said Blumhorst.
Along with senior send-off are long-standing traditions like Project Graduation.
“I like Project Grad because we are finally getting to celebrate all of our hard work,” said Lance.
A couple of traditions and activities have been added since Covid-19, notably the senior car parade, but some of MHS seniors have more ideas.
“I would add a senior picnic because I think it would be a fun way to end the year with all of the seniors,” said Giffen.
Senior traditions are all about ending high school and celebrating their accomplishments. These activities take a few months to plan.
“I would bring back class trips because we go to school together for 12 years and only see each other in a school environment,” said Lance. “Those that choose to go should have the opportunity to have one last hurrah with their classmates in a fun environment.”
Some say that a senior skip day would be nice to add as well. While skip days have occurred occasionally, they have never been sanctioned by school authorities.
MHS Principal Christy Jones, junior and senior counselor Shannon Gotmer and Secretary Pam Heinzler all have a part in making all the senior festivities possible.
“I’m more about making sure they can all attend,” Gotmer said.
When planning the activities, Gotmer said it’s a good idea to know what’s coming.
“Based on administration working with senior officers and listening to their ideas, usually things go very smoothly with the senior activities,” said Gotmer.
All of their hard work put in by the staff is recognized when seniors let them know it’s appreciated.
“I’ve only heard positive feedback. I’ve never really heard anything negative,” said Gotmer. “It’s very systematic, and we know what we need to do; if there is a mistake it is rectified.”
While traditions are honored, MHS administrators have been flexible when need be. In May 2020, the senior parade was planned when the graduation ceremony was postponed until July. Former principal Ian Verts had to come up with something to honor the seniors but also follow Covid-19 social distancing guidelines. The following year, he scheduled it again because of continuing Covid protocols, and many thought that would be the last year of the senior parade.
However, this year’s seniors reached out and asked if they could have a senior parade, and Jones agreed. Now the guidelines remain the same: car and truck decorations should have nothing inappropriate and include decorations that represent the seniors in a positive way.
In all, senior traditions have a special place in students’ heart, especially the ones that bring classes together to celebrate their last hurrah.