On May 16 the graduating class of 2014 gathered at Villa Caesar to celebrate their final days of high school. This year’s attendance was lower than normal, which resulted in the possibilities of this being the last senior banquet held or changing the time of year when it is held.
“This year we had about 275 [attendees], last year they had just about 300. In past years we usually count on half the class coming. Myself, Ms. [Carrie] Wadycki [English], and Mr. [Tim] Powers [Assistant Principal] had talked about what we do from here. Our first gut reaction was to just cancel it. But, it’s such a great event that we don’t want to do that. Talking about it, and talking to kids too, we felt like it’s kind of squished in at the end of the year, two weeks after Prom and two weeks before graduation, also right after AP tests and right before finals. Maybe if we move it up into April that will give kids a little bit of breathing room, making them more willing and excited to go. Ultimately that decision is up to the next class sponsor to run the banquet,” Mrs. Sarah Verpooten, Class Sponsor, said.
Even though the turnout was low, that did not stop the students who attended from making new memories and dancing the night away.
“Senior banquet was by far the best dance/social event of high school. Although senior Prom is great, there is something about Senior Banquet that is entirely unique. It is the last time most of us [seniors] will see each other except for graduation. It is great to see everyone one last time,” Noah Sarkey (12) said.
The Senior Banquet is the one dance where only the graduating class can attend. The seniors look forward to finding out what their classmates think and who won what “best award.” They await in anticipation, and some awards have even been a family recurrence.
“Along with [Kennedy Phalen (12)], the Superfan award has been in each of our families for a while now. Winning the Ultimate Superfan award is the greatest memory I’ll have from high school. Cheering at every game and being around everyone was an unforgettable feeling. We’re all Indians. We all have memories that we’ll look back on. The greatest memories were made here at Lake Central,” Alexander Tsiakopoulos (12) said.
During the middle of the dance a moment of silence was held for all the senior-class students that have passed throughout the years, including a recent death of a well-loved senior.
“Although the mood was ominous at first, it was also a relief to know that even though we recently lost a great senior and great friend, that he was still remembered at our senior banquet. We could also keep him in our hearts during the entire banquet with the class of 2014,” Michael Goin (12) said.
Topping off banquet night, the flashing strobe lights, smell of the hors d’oeuvres, the laughter and the stories told are engraved in the seniors’ brains. Although the possibility of getting rid of Senior Banquet has been discussed, students like Joseph Sawicki (12) agree that the event is too memorable to stop.
“Lake Central should keep Senior Banquet because it is a moment when everyone can come together as one class and end the four years with the same people that you started with. Future classes should have this banquet because it is the best way to cap senior year, and without it, it is open-ended. It is going out with a bang and encapsulates the memories for the next 10 years until our reunion,” Sawicki said.
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