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With Seniors Away, the Rest Will…Miss Them?

As is the case every school year, second semester started with a senior class-sized hole in the community.
The+senior+section+of+the+bleachers+sit+empty+during+the+pep+assembly+on+Jan.+26%2C+2024.+The+seniors+spent+the+first+three+weeks+of+second+semester+on+their+Senior+Service+Projects+away+from+Rockhurst.
Scott Hopke
The senior section of the bleachers sit empty during the pep assembly on Jan. 26, 2024. The seniors spent the first three weeks of second semester on their Senior Service Projects away from Rockhurst.

The start of second semester began with a big part of the Rockhurst family missing in action: the seniors. Like they do every year, the oldest class in the building started their term away on their various service projects. That left the juniors as the oldest in the building for three weeks and big void in the community without the energy and life the seniors bring to Rockhurst.

“I miss that when they’re gone it makes the school feel empty,” said junior Jonathan Coxe. “The majority of the time when they are here you can tell that they are here cause they carry such a heavy presence.”

One responsibility of the seniors is to be leaders and to help guide underclassmen. Without them being here, the responsibility falls to the juniors, who will officially become the oldest in the building in less than four months. 

“It gives the underclassmen a chance to step up as leaders and creates a smaller, more intimate class,” said Director of Instrumental Music Cameron Akagi. “In some ways it is more challenging, but I think it actually helps our freshmen through juniors a lot in building confidence, leadership and friendship.”

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Losing the seniors also makes it difficult for many teachers because they have combined classes with both seniors and juniors. This forces teachers to start their curriculum without a sometimes sizable portion of the class. It makes it especially difficult for classes that start in the second semester.

“We have to differentiate content and change pacing. Our classes are a mix of direct instruction, group learning, team progression and development. Not having some of the students limits the way in which we as teachers can deliver content. It’s like trying to golf with half a set of clubs,” said STEAM director Tyler Baker.

However, students do some benefits to the seniors being gone. For example, all the best parking spots are open, so people don’t have to walk from the hill, especially when the weather is bad, as it has been so far this semester.

Another benefit is that the hallways are much emptier which makes it easier to walk through.

It also forces the next oldest group of students to lead.

“I enjoy the fact that the juniors really have to step up and show some leadership skills since many people are looking for someone to help them and lead,” said Coxe.

Despite this, Rockhurst students and staff alike are looking forward to having the seniors back in their hallways, starting Monday, Jan. 29.

“So many of the Seniors are good leaders and make the environment fun. They know where the line of cutting up and getting down to business is better than most students,” said Lari Bunch, who teaches graphic design and visual arts. “They bring more diversity, leadership, and new viewpoints to the class. I am looking forward to the seniors returning.”

 

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About the Contributor
Ted Truebner, Staff Reporter
This is my second year writing for Prep News. I originally joined newspaper to add on to my college resume, however, I stayed in the class because I liked the freedom I received in choosing my own stories and being able to write freely. In this class, I am forced to go out and find information by myself, opposed to other classes. I also enjoy getting an insider view on events going on at the school. Outside of newspaper, a lot of my time is spent playing lacrosse, as I play all year for the school and club teams. During the summer, I work as a lifeguard at Fairway pool. After high school, I plan to either take the political route or go to journalism school, however, I have not completely made up my mind on what route I want to take.
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