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Senior Class Council Kicks Off Senior Year with a Cloudy Senior Sunrise

Katie Abramson
Students celebrate Senior Sunrise at 6 a.m. Friday, Sept. 29.

Almost a hundred Shenendehowa seniors arrived at 6am on Friday, Sept. 29 to Brent Steuerwald Stadium to celebrate the start of the class of 2024’s senior year. 

The Senior Sunrise event, hosted by the Senior Class Council was held Homecoming morning to continue spirit week festivities. 

The morning was cloudy, and student’s feared a downpour. Despite the possibility of bad weather, more students arrived than expected, wrapped in blankets and tired from their earlier rise than usual. Fortunately, the weather was in their favor, although it was too foggy to see a sunrise. 

Students parked their cars and started to meet up with their friends when they first got there. 

The Class of 2024’s rock sits outside the gates of the stadium. Seniors who showed up got to sign their name on the rock, which will permanently be there, just painted over throughout the years. This tradition was started last year by the Class of 2023. 

Seniors then gathered on the football field and laid down blankets to sit on. Some students hung out while others played volleyball or a game of Spikeball. Music played over the loudspeakers. 

The sky was not orange or pink, but rather gray and cloudy. This did not matter to seniors, however. It got brighter out, which signaled the end of the sunrise. 

Gracie McMillan, Senior Class Council President and Shenendehowa Senior, has been planning this event since the beginning of August. 

McMillan personally called local grocery stores and bakeries for donations of food to have at the event. Market 32 agreed and donated items such as croissants, bagels, muffins, and other pastries, which allowed the event to be free of cost to both the class council and the school. These baked goods were set out in the front at the concession stand for seniors to take. 

Most students were just happy to have the opportunity to go to the event, ignoring the couple hours less of sleep they received. Shenendehowa senior Molly Corbari came to the sunrise and said she decided to attend because it seemed like a fun event she should come to as a senior.

 “Waking up was fun because my friends were at my house already. It would have been miserable waking up if they weren’t there,” said Corbari.

Since she arrived, Corbari met up with her group of friends and ate lots of food, some of which she said she donated. 

Corbari said she enjoyed the event. She liked having time to hang out with her friends, and enjoyed the environment and how everyone seems like kids again, enjoying their time together. 

According to Corbari, she is excited to continue her senior year, but she is counting down the weeks until graduation. So far, she said her favorite part of being a senior at Shen is the privileges that come with it, including driving into school and being able to arrive or leave early. 

Corbari said she is looking forward to “all the big moments of senior year,” including senior skip day, prom, and of course graduation. 

Jordan White, one of the senior class council advisors, said that the planning for this event started over the summer. She first organized a meeting with the class officers and they discussed the idea of having parallel events; senior sunrise and sunset. Once they had a game plan, Ron Agonstinoni, Shenendehowa Principal, was contacted in order to get permission to host the event. 

White then said that Agostinoni was happy to help. The next steps were to figure out details. After Agostinoni approved the event, they reached out to people and places they wanted involved. This included calling grocery stores for food donations, booking the football field, and running the lights. 

This was the school’s first year doing a senior sunrise. 

“We are interested to see if students enjoy it so we can bring it back next year and continue the event,” said White. 

The Senior Class Council has plenty of “big moments” planned for the class of ‘24. 

McMillan said that senior sunset is in the works for the end of the year. Senior prom is also an important event that is highly anticipated by most seniors. 

“We will do fundraising to make senior prom as fun and immersive as it can be,” said McMillan. 

Senior Class Council hopes to host more fundraisers for senior prom that students will want to engage and participate in. 

“We’re really looking forward to making our senior year the most exciting it can be,” McMillan said.

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