As the sun set on the school year, Kingsway said goodbye to the Class of 2022 and hello to the Class of 2023 as their rising senior class.
Throughout the month of June, the graduating class celebrated many traditions and rites of passage before officially turning their tassels in the football stadium on Friday, June 17th.
“My favorite Kingsway tradition is the last walk,” explained 2022 graduate, Kennedi Avent. “It’s my favorite because it really allows you to take the time to reminisce on the past four years that you spent in the school and the memories come flooding back,” she continued.
This year, the senior walk-through took place on the morning of graduation and included a trip around both the middle school and high school. This was how the senior class spent their final moments as Kingsway students. They were dismissed from school for the final time at noon on graduation day.
Another tradition that the Class of 2022 enjoyed in their final week was the senior sunset. This new celebration is a way to reach a full circle ending from the senior sunrise at the beginning of senior year. The Class of 2022 was the first class to enjoy senior sunset as the senior student council members proposed it for the first time in the fall.
During the event, students were invited to the football stadium starting at 7 p.m. They watched the sunset, ate food, and had one final moment to appreciate all the friends they have made during their time at Kingsway.
Aside from just the senior sunset, there are many other points of inspiration that the rising seniors hope to draw upon in the upcoming school year.
“As the Class of 2022 was the first senior class to emerge from pandemic-style virtual learning, they were more dedicated to their academics than most others. I am inspired to take with me this devotion to my senior year and continue the dedication these seniors have exemplified,” claimed Sam Aregood, member of the Class of 2023.
The Class of 2023 celebrated their first senior ritual at Locke Ave Park on Monday, June 13. Together they brought black t-shirts and puffy paint to design their senior shirts for the upcoming school year. Per tradition, they all wore these shirts on their final day of junior year on the June 17.
T-shirt making is just the beginning. “This summer many activities are happening to welcome the seniors into this upcoming school year,” explained student executive president, Shelby Dyer (‘23).
“Senior portraits are happening at the end of June, and makeups will be at the end of August. Painting parking spots, a newer senior activity, will be happening in August. Another event will be Senior Beach Day, which will also take place in August. Finally, as the new school year comes closer, we will start off the year with Senior Sunrise,” she elaborated.
Dyer was voted to be student body president next year in a whole-school election that took place in May 2022. The election was characterized by witty posters, speeches, and social media posts that encouraged students to vote for Dyer or her opponent Jack Arena.
Students’ loyalty to a particular candidate is a true testament to the excellent leadership qualities that both Dyer and Arena bring to the table. Although ultimately Arena lost the election, he will continue to manage the student council Instagram account for the upcoming school year.
In addition to the presidential election, elections were also held for the Vice President, corresponding secretary, and recording secretary positions.
Dyer wants her classmates to know that “[She] can’t wait to work with [her] fellow officers, Alyssa Donahue, Luke Wordelmann, Madeleine Malesich, the Executive Board, and the entirety of our Student Council Members to make next school year the best it can be”.
One way that Dyer hopes to ensure a successful term as president is by looking back on some of the things that she has learned from the upperclassmen that came before her.
“One piece of inspiration that I have drawn from the Class of 2022 is that they are all hard workers. From the students to the athletes, scholars, etc. they all worked hard to make this school a better place for everyone. They have taught us rising seniors many important values that we will carry with us throughout the rest of our lives,” she claimed.
Holding true to the notion of “once a dragon, always a dragon” the wisdom, passion, and character of the graduating Class of 2022 will continue to set the stage for the rising seniors next year. One closed chapter is the start of a new one and the Class of 2023 is excited to start writing theirs as seniors this fall.
By Audrey Pachuta