PGISD 2024 Senior Perspective

Like all the seniors this year, I started my high school career at Pleasant Grove during the pandemic. Making friends in masks and walking in one direction throughout the entire school while social distancing was tough. And I had other trials, too. Family members who passed and friends who came and went. But when I think back on my time, there are some special moments that stand out. 

I thought about the perfect prank, one that was innocent enough but would make the perfect amount of raucous and fun. The summer before my senior year, I met with my favorite counselor to lay plans. We settled on planning a surprise birthday celebration for our principal, Mrs. Giles. The day started with the Pleasant Grove marching band crowding around her office to play “Happy Birthday” while the seniors sang. Before lunch, all of the seniors were called to the office to follow Dr. English, a local bagpiper and pathologist, around the school. After ninth period, we met at the flagpole and threw Mrs. Giles a surprise cookie party with party blowers, accompanied by guitarist Mark Meadows. I loved seeing how excited Mrs. Giles and my classmates were about the events of the day. It took a lot of coordination, but it was memorable!

During senior year, I was honored to be “Grover,” the Hawk’s mascot. I enjoyed being a part of the Friday night experience, interacting with kids, football players, my classmates, and the community. Every football game, I played rock-paper-scissors with a football player in the Hawk Tunnel and ran out after the team. I loved getting people excited about the games during pep rallies and from the sidelines. The marching band even let me conduct twice! I nearly fell off of the ladder, but I had a lot of fun! My mom made my little sister a “Baby Grover” suit, and she followed me around during some home games. My favorite spot to take a break was the old ticket booth because it had air conditioning and was private, so no one could see me take off my head. I attended every game day event as Grover. The morning ones were a lot of fun. One time, I went down an inflatable slide six times in the suit! I raced my friends, classmates, and principals down the slide. I appreciate my time as mascot and all the opportunity it afforded me to be involved in the good things happening at the Grove.

But I wasn’t always up to pranks and mascot business. I was a three-year member of the Pleasant Grove debate team. Debate teams form healthy rivalries with other schools, and the competition is palpable. Debate should be an unemotional event where one calmly argues facts. However, it doesn’t always go that way. During my sophomore year, I participated in the regional Lincoln Douglas tournament. During one round, my opponent used Wikipedia as his only source (a crime in the eyes of debaters), screamed all of his arguments, and called me “a confused little girl.” After the round, I shook his hand and offered him a peppermint. After that incident, I brought peppermints to every single debate to give to people who debated poorly or were mean to our team. My teammates jokingly referred to them as “passive-aggressive peppermints.” Debate was an exciting experience, and it taught me how to argue any point effectively. 

High school is a time of learning and figuring out what sort of future human we will become, but I also made close friends and found lifelong mentors like Mrs. Brisco and Mrs. Manning. I had these two inspirational art teachers all four years of high school. I cannot imagine what my time would have been like without their positivity and guidance.

Then suddenly, my time at the Grove was over, but not without a little blustery weather. Before the graduation ceremony, we were worried that graduation may be canceled or delayed because of tornado warnings. Our ceremony moved from Hawk Stadium to the First Baptist Church. I was honored to give the invocation and graduated third in my class. I enjoyed seeing my friends and classmates walk across the stage toward the next journey in their lives.
When I went to pick up my diploma and final transcript in June, I found out that instead of being third in my class, I was actually second. I wasn’t completely surprised. Prior to graduation, a counselor told me that my rank was extremely close to the person ahead of me and that our rank could even change after the last grading period, which is nine weeks long. So, due to school policy, I graduated third instead of second. I spoke at the last school board meeting to see if a policy change could be placed on a future agenda so that no student will ever be in this situation again. As an aspiring attorney, the additional opportunity to present a case can only help me. Pleasant Grove has many high-achieving students, and I am proud to be in their company. I enjoyed my time as a Hawk, and I am looking forward to flying on to the next adventure.


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