Parents and staff work hard to make senior year the best year


Parents and staff work hard to make senior year to be the best year of high school, and for senior Ally Monaghan, their hard work has definitely paid off.

“Overall, I feel like this year is going to be amazing,” Ally said. “It already has been, and I’m not really looking back because there are so many cool things that we still have yet to do. [Parents and staff] don’t have to do anything for us. We could just be another grade, we could just do everything like normal, but it’s really nice that they go above and beyond.”

Senior year is full of fun activities, and it is an inarguable fact that these activities would scarcely be possible without the help of staff and parents. They work hard to organize them, as well as make sure they run smoothly. The hard work put in by the parents and staff is easy to forget, but without them, these activities wouldn’t occur in the first place.

One of the most popular events, the Senior Retreat, would be nonexistent if principal Steve Passinault had not adopted it from another school, Catholic Central. It’s a good thing, too, as Ally even proclaimed the retreat to be the best weekend of her life.

“Words can’t describe Senior Retreat, honestly,” Ally said. “I did not expect to have any fun. You didn’t get to pick your cabins, your roommates, or your groups that you were in for team building, and it was really cool because there are people in our class that I had not ever talked to. I thought that it was really amazing to kind of get to know those people.”

Ally was not the only senior to enjoy her time at the retreat. Senior Emily Obermeyer recalls a particularly difficult, yet incredibly fun, activity at the retreat simply referred to as “the wall.”

“It was a wall at least ten feet tall,” Emily said. “You had your group, and you had to get everyone up over it without climbing up the stairs. You could only help people twice, so you had to strategize with that. It was really hard, but it was really fun. I nearly fell, too, which is kind of funny. We had a couple other people nearly fall, and it was also kind of funny.”

Most seniors had activities they loved and activities they disliked, but the overall consensus was that the senior retreat was a success.

One of the things that a few seniors found disappointing at the retreat was the music played during the dance. It was something that senior Sunny Patel thought definitely needed improvement.

“The Senior Retreat music was censored,” Sunny said. “It kind of sucked.”

Fortunately, parents managed to fix this problem during the Senior Dinner Dance. While the music at the retreat left much to be desired, the music played at the dance was reported to be a definite improvement.

Many seniors fled the event when it came time to dance, but those who stayed had a rather positive opinion of it. Senior Ellie Matelic was one of those that actually stayed for the dance, and she loved it.

“I thought the dance was really fun,” Ellie said. “Everyone was dancing together, and everyone was just kind of in a mosh pit in the middle. There was a whole other half of the dance floor that nobody was on; everyone was just crammed and dancing together. That was really funny, and I thought that said a lot about our class, just how everyone wants to be together and hang out together and how we’re all pretty close.”

Preceding the dance were activities organized primarily by parents. Ally had low expectations at first but was pleasantly surprised by how fun it was.

“I actually really enjoyed it,” Ally said. “I felt like I actually really connected with the people that I haven’t talked to in so long. We did a trivia game, and they had a slideshow of all of us as young kids. I thought that it was adorable. Pretty much after that, we ate, [and] the food was amazing. Then there was a photobooth kind of thing that the parents set up, and I really liked that too; they did a really good job. The music was awesome, we had a really good DJ, and we had a really fun time dancing, and all of us were just kind of together which was really cool.

Parents played a big part in the Senior Dinner Dance, both helping to organize and run the event. Actually, they assist in many of the events surrounding seniors, but there’s one thing that parents are probably most known for doing: the Senior Treat.

The Senior Treat is organized and paid for completely by parents. It’s coordinated by both Kimberly Patterson and Jennifer Yoder and carried out with the help of a plethora of other senior parents. Parents become involved in Senior Treat for any number of reasons.

Senior Seth Udell, along with many other students, seem to have an understanding that the parents organize these events out of an understanding of how important senior year is.

“[Parents] know that senior year is a very important year,” Seth said. “This is kind of the last time we’ll be able to see each other for a while unless we all go to the same college, which won’t happen. I appreciate it a lot, and it’s really great of the parents to do it.”

While parents do enjoy the opportunity to reward seniors for making it as far as they have, there is also a much more personal reason, Patterson explains.

“What I do is totally for my baby girl,” Patterson said. “I have always been heavily involved in the school for all of my children. It sets a good example for them to keep priorities, education, and family; it is just another message to them that they are the most important thing in life to us.”

This sentiment is shared by other parents like Yoder and Sarah Torrey, both of whom have seniors attending FHC.

There is also a sense of trepidation, as most parents share some concerns over their children’s future.

“It is natural to worry,” Yoder said. “But all we can do is provide the tools for success and hope that our kids use them, make good choices and work hard.”

While their reasons for helping out are their own, it doesn’t stop other students besides their kids from expressing their appreciation towards the parents for their generosity.

“I love how polite the FHC seniors are during Senior Treat,” Patterson said. “[They] say “thank youa�� and seem genuinely appreciative of each month’s surprise treat.”

Ally is one of the many seniors who love the Senior Treat, and she has no shortage of appreciation for the parents that make it possible.

“I think [the Senior Treat] is the sweetest thing ever,” Ally said. “The fact that parents take time out of their day just to do something nice for people who are the oldest. It’s kind of surreal that it’s finally your turn. You see the ‘seniors twenty-eighteen’ sign, and you’re just like, “woah, I can’t believe it, already!a�� I think that it’s really nice that they do that, and the parents should get a lot more appreciation because they don’t have to do that.”

And while it may seem a tad unfair to underclassman that the treats are strictly for seniors, Passinault wants to make it clear that it isn’t because he doesn’t think they deserve it.

“One of the things I don’t want juniors, freshmen, and sophomores to think is that they’re not important,” Passinault said. “But [these activities] also are something they can look forward to as they build their way up to be a senior.”

There seems to be a general agreement that because the seniors have managed to make it this far, they should be rewarded for it. It’s a big achievement for seniors to make it to the end, and it’s one that has many events to celebrate it. One of the events that mark this accomplishment is the Candlelight Ceremony.

“Parents don’t have to take time out of their day to plan things for us if they don’t want to, but they do it anyway, and I feel like that’s just an incredible thing for them to help us feel better about graduating.””

— Ally Monaghan

Although the ceremony involves both juniors and seniors, and the focus is primarily the passing of the torch from one class to another, there is a sense of accomplishment for seniors. It is essentially their last time in the building as students, and it is already stirring up emotions in seniors anticipating this event. Ally already predicts a teary and bittersweet feeling when she finally passes the torch.

“We’re graduating,” Ally said. “That’s kind of shocking to me because it doesn’t feel like it. Passing down what we’ve all worked so hard for to a new class is just the coolest thing I feel like the school could do. It’s because you can give something that generations above you have given you, but you can also give it to kids that are now doing what you just went through. I don’t know if that’s the right way to say it, but it’s amazing that you can do something like that, I’m just really excited.”

While the ceremony is something many seniors look forward to, it is what happens after graduation that nearly all seniors cannot wait to arrive: the Senior All Night Party.

Emily is one senior who cannot wait for the party.

“I am so excited [for senior all night party],” Emily said. “That is just super fun because it’s literally too, like, 6 A.M. I think that will be a really good way to send out everyone all together. It’s something where you’re all having fun again. I feel like some of the activities we’ve had this year have been really good for that by making everyone bond.”

Once again, it is an event in which the parents are heavily involved. They even have a Facebook group dedicated to planning the perfect party.

“I find that so amazing,” Ally said. “Parents don’t have to take time out of their day to plan things for us if they don’t want to, but they do it anyway. I feel like that’s just an incredible thing for them to help us feel better about graduating.”

Patterson, who, on top of helping to coordinate the Senior Treat, also works as the Senior All Night Party Treasurer, Registrar, and Transportation Committee Head, feels that the party is definitely worth going to.

“I know that those who choose to go will love Senior All Night Party,” Patterson said. “It will be a great culmination of high school and graduation.”

The parents and staff involved in these events, in any way, work hard to make sure they run smoothly. It is wonderful and a real testament to our school that so many seniors make sure to tell them how much they appreciate all the work they do.

Ellie Metallic, the senior class president, understands how much work it can be to organize these events, and she is incredibly grateful that the student council doesn’t have to plan all of these events, themselves.

“The teachers and staff don’t have to do anything besides teach,” Ellie said. “I think it’s really cool that some teachers do go out of their way to help us out, and I feel like we’re really fortunate at [FHC], because other school’s teachers aren’t very involved in the class, or they don’t care as much. Our teachers care a lot about students and how we are as people.”