On June 5, the members of Loy Norrix’s Class of 2014 celebrated their graduation at Wings Stadium, marking the end of the line for their public school education. No longer will they have school buses, pesky IDs and weird turquoise-teal Tower paint to welcome them every day.
As the 247 graduating seniors celebrated the next chapter in their lives, the 243 who are next in line had something to feel good about too. The moment the seniors’ tassels were turned, the Class of 2015 officially became the most experienced students on the Loy Norrix campus.
For future graduate Haley Klesz, even as she becomes a senior, the feeling of being a Knight is still fairly new. She spent the first years of her high school life in Clinton, Michigan, and only came to Loy Norrix at the beginning of this year. However, Klesz has quickly made her mark as a Knight, becoming president of the National Honor Society early last month.
“I’m looking forward to being president next year because it opens me up to more people and more relationships,” Klesz said. “At the same time, my senior year is bittersweet. I’m excited but sad that it’s my last year of high school.”
Klesz’s classmate Naomi Sarelis, on the other hand, is no newcomer to Norrix. She has been in Kalamazoo Public Schools since her 1st grade year, and has become an active member of the new senior class. As a member of the Class of 2015 Executive Board, she looks forward to being able to plan some of the events which can create lasting memories for many seniors.
“I’m excited to start planning prom and our senior trip, because those are really fun and people will never forget them,” Sarelis said.
Sarelis also feels that her years at Loy Norrix have given her a taste of how the real world works.
“Being a Knight for these last three years has given me the experience of working with a variety of people,” Sarelis said. “It’s kind of like a job setting. You can really work with anyone.”
Much like any job later in life, senior year can be both exhilarating and exhausting. For the seniors, it’s a balance between the enjoying your last year of childhood and stressing about the future. It means one more year of everything we’ve come to love and hate about being a Knight. Varsity baseball player Jerrell Lipsey is optimistic about the end of high school, however.
“I’m ready to take a bite out of my senior year with a fork,” Lipsey said with a laugh. “Why a fork? I’m gonna take a stab at a lot of new things next year, and you can’t stab anything with a spoon.”
No amount of optimism can change the fact that there are fifteen more final exams, 36 more weeks, and countless hours of homework still awaiting every rising senior. Still, some students, like current junior Zak Hill, take solace in the feeling of accomplishment that the senior status brings.
“I feel like I have new privileges all of the sudden. I’m just proud of myself, you know?” Hill said. “I’m gonna live it up over my last summer [of high school], and just basically reside at the beach.”