The senior recognition assembly is a chance to applaud the senior class as a whole


Junior Sophie Erickson is downhearted seeing all of the seniors leave. Yet, she is looking forward to ruling FHC next year, as a senior herself. 

“The juniors are going to be the seniors of the school next year,” Sophie said. “And the current seniors passing down their legacy [during the senior recognition assembly], that will help us to rule the school next year.”

The senior recognition assembly is an opportunity to acknowledge the senior class’ hard work and dedication over their time at FHC. Any scholarships or accomplishments will be announced, and the seniors will then pass a keychain over to a junior, symbolically passing leadership over to the juniors. 

As for Sophie, she is eager to be a senior next year. 

“I’m excited to be a senior next year,” Sophie said, “but I’m also sad since the seniors are leaving. I’m going to feel bittersweet [at the senior recognition assembly]. It’ll be bitter because the seniors are leaving, and sweet because they’re passing on the legacy to all of us juniors. [Getting picked to be with a senior during the assembly] makes me feel special.”

The seniors having the opportunity to choose who they get to pass down their legacy to is a remarkable chance for both the seniors and the juniors. 

Not only do the seniors pass down leadership to the juniors, they are also recognized for all the triumphs they’ve had over the years. History teacher Brad Anderson greatly sees the value in this. 

“[This assembly] recognizes the seniors for their standing achievements and accomplishments over the last four years,” Anderson said. “And, as we know, it’s not just their high school years, it’s all of their years here at FHC. We want to recognize outstanding character, outstanding conduct in the classroom, exemplary behavior, and also athletic accomplishments. It’s an opportunity to get the entire school together and to show our best and to set the standard. Essentially, the freshman, sophomores, and juniors get to see the best of our community and also get to celebrate all the seniors for making it—it is a long four years. It can be difficult and it can be winding at times, and so to make it to the end for some students is a grand achievement. For others, it’s a celebration of them going above and beyond.”

Recognizing that high school can be difficult for students makes this celebration even more meaningful. 

It can be difficult and it can be winding at times, and so to make it to the end for some students is a grand achievement. For others, it’s a celebration of them going above and beyond.

— Anderson

This FHC tradition has been going on for about fifteen years at this point in time. History teacher Steve Labenz appreciates the assembly because it is another way to applaud the seniors. 

“FHC had a principal before Mr. Passinault who brought [the senior recognition assembly] tradition with him from another school,” Labenz said. “So the idea was that graduation day is supposed to be about the class. We wanted to make sure that we’re going to be able to talk about some of the kid’s [accomplishments and scholarships]. We have so many kids who have so many different awards that we felt it was important to announce them.”

Every graduate deserves the recognition that they deserve; this assembly is an unparalleled way to do this. 

Once the seniors have officially graduated, it is important that FHC still has school leaders. That leadership will come from the juniors, which is why passing the keychains will be taking place. 

“I think it’s good for the kids to see [the juniors with the seniors during the assembly] and try to have some continuity,” Labenz said. “I know that some kids see high school as just a waystation to their next thing, but we want to try and engender some kind of community and continuity. The idea is that they’re going to be the new leaders of the school. It’ll also be cool to see all the people who get awards, too, because that’s also in this assembly. It’s nice to have kids get recognition because this is it. I think, for a lot of kids, that really struck home when they left last week that they’re like, ‘I’m done.’ And then, of course, graduation, but this is one more chance for them to get together.” 

Every class has gone through a lot together over their years; this chance to come together one last time before graduation is invaluable. 

Senior Mackenzie Wintrich, committed to Bowling Green State University, is greatly looking forward to this chance to further bond with her class. 

“It’s going to be fun to recognize all the seniors because we’re all going on our own paths and it’ll be good to get together as a class for one last time,” Mackenzie said. “I think it’s good, passing it all down to the juniors because it’s kind of like our position is getting taken over by the next class, so it’s showing that they need to step up for the school.”

Mackenzie, while anticipating the passing over of the leadership, is also optimistic about the senior video. 

“I think I am most excited for the senior video,” Mackenzie said. “I know a lot of people have been putting a lot of hard work into it, and we just get to see everything that we did throughout the year. It’s going to be really fun to get together one last time as a class.”

The senior recognition assembly will surely be an emotional event for both the seniors and the juniors. While the seniors will be leaving their legacy at FHC, the juniors will have to step up and become the next school leaders. 

“It’s time for juniors to step up and know that they only have 365 days left,” Anderson said, “and that they need to make the most of their time. It also brings to mind, how do you want to be remembered? I know some people leave here and they never turn back, and that’s cool, but how do you want to leave a place? Do you want to leave it better than the way you found it, or do you want to leave behind a trail of people that are clapping your exit? It’s the choice that you made that day, so it’s an opportunity for juniors to go, ‘Okay it’s our time and it’s time to step up,’ and you have about 365 days until you are recognized as an adult and you’re kicked out into the real world.”