By Tessa Mansfield
Graduation is some people’s fondest memory and a time they look forward to the most. Teenagers spend their entire school career watching the students before them experience that one day they are working so hard to get to. They watch them get their cap and gowns and eventually be handed their diploma’s. They listen to teachers and friends congratulate the graduates as they leave for the next chapter of their lives while wishing this day would be for them while knowing they will be returning to the next school year after reluctantly trying to fill summer with all the fun memories they can before those pesty back to school commercials start playing again. Until they do not, they realize this will be the last year they will dread hearing those commercials, as they must return. This means this year is their last and their goal to graduate is no longer as far away as it once was. This will be this year’s graduate’s point of view since they waited an entire twelve years for this and teachers who watched them grow and make it to this important milestone in life.
When asked a Lenape teacher Mrs. Boyle what her favorite aspects of graduation were, she said she “enjoys seeing the seniors graduate and seeing all the hard work they have done to get to this point. I enjoy hearing about their plans for the future and their excitement for the future!” When asked if she usually attends graduation yearly and her response was, “I have in the past but recently I have not I now stream it and watch it online” Mrs. Boyle was faced with the question, what students has she seen make great improvements during their time at Lenape? She responded with “It is hard to narrow down because so many students have made great improvements here at Lenape. I especially tend to see a change from their junior to senior year. I really enjoy seeing how so many students have worked hard to get to where they are at, and it really shows.” The final question asked was, do you miss the senior students after they graduate? Mrs. Boyles response is heart breaking, she said “I do miss them. The year we shut down and I did not get a chance to say good luck to them, it left a void not having the chance to end the year with them. I missed that more than I realized. I run into students that have graduated and I enjoy hearing about what they are up to.” Lenape is incredibly lucky this graduation year to have a “normal” graduation ceremony and not have to miss those charitable moments.
Logan Paden a Lenape senior had these responses, when asked, are you excited to graduate and why? He responded with “I am excited, school takes up too much time for me when I can be in the work force. When asked what his plans after high school where he said, “my plan after high school is to go into the work force somewhere and get my inspection/emissions license.’’ When asked what he envisioned his future to look like in five years he stated, “I see myself working every day to make as much money as possible so I can continue with life” when asked What/who helped you make it through Highschool? Logan responded, “My car helped me get through school by keeping me busy inside of shop class and motivated me to show up to school so I can fix my car.”
Mr. Henry had very meaningful responses to these questions. When asked what your favorite aspects of graduation are? he responded with,” The tradition. Pride in accomplishing all the hard work. “When asked, do you usually attend graduation and if yes why? He responded, “Yes, to support the students one last time.” when faced with the question of, “What students have you seen make great improvements during their time at Lenape? Mr. Henry said, “I have witnessed the good and bad of student behavior and the consequences. The students that buy into what Lenape has to offer always make great improvements. Every student that graduates has improved. Many students have come in with low expectations of themselves and at Lenape realize their full potential and increase their expectations of themselves. They set their personal goals higher.’’ when asked the last question, if he misses his senior students of graduation he responded,” I miss every student after graduation and wish them well as I prepare for the next class of seniors.’’
There are differences between students and teachers, of course also similarities. In the end, the seniors embark on their rocky and adventures lives in the real world, and the teacher will stay back in and wave goodbye as they wish their children good luck on their first day of school. Graduation is a joyful and sad day as students say goodbye to their old lives and hello to their new ones. Best of luck to everyone, seniors, juniors, teachers, and all as things end and summer begins.