Members of the class of 2022 gathered on the football field on the first day of school to reminisce while the sun rose on the start of their senior year.
Seniors Rachel Tuman and Alexandria Bien-Aime worked to plan the event with senior class advisors Maria Masankay and Kasey Gribble.
Rachel and Alexandria first were inspired by videos they saw of events of this nature on TikTok. The girls then did some further research and reached out to their advisors to see if this could be an event their entire class could enjoy.
“The idea of the event is to symbolize a good start to the school year with us all together at the start of the first day,” Rachel, who is interested in studying pre-law, explained. “Our class as a whole has always been very close our entire lives. It was so great to be there on the football field seeing groups of friends gathered in circles. It is such a fitting start to our senior year.”
The students were invited to gather on the football field for the event, and then were welcome to enjoy a breakfast at the school before beginning their first day of classes. About sixty students were in attendance.
Alexandria explained how she took time especially to reflect on her friendship with Rachel at the Senior Sunrise.
“We even recreated an old picture that we have from our elementary school days,” Alexandria, who has been friends with Rachel since the girls were four, explained. “We reminisced about when our friendship first began. It feels like time has gone by like a breeze.”
Throughout their high school years the girls have worked to plan a variety of events for their classmates through student council and other school groups.
Alexandria likes to do graphic design and has designed a variety of shirts for events over the years. A memorable shirt that she liked was the one she designed for the freshman class to wear to the school’s annual spirit games. She explained that it had Kermit the Frog on it.
In more recent years, the girls worked on the prom committee to plan last year’s outdoor prom with an Under the Stars theme. It was a challenge with COVID, but the girls wanted to do what they could to help their class have some traditional events with proper safety protocols.
Rachel and Alexandria also fondly remember decorating the halls for their sophomore spirit week. They planned an Egyptian theme that year. Even though they did not get to have the games due to COVID that year, they are still glad for the memories they have of working together with their classmates as a team to decorate.
“I think our class has a very strong bond,” Alexandria, who aspires to be an Orthopedic surgeon, said. “After our Senior Sunrise event, fellow Western Wayne alumni sent us messages commenting on how close our class is and wishing us the best in our senior year.”
Both Rachel and Alexandria plan to run for office in student council this year. Alexandria is a member of the soccer team, cheerleading for football and basketball, student government, track, and National Honor Society. Rachel is the first seat on the school’s tennis team. In addition, she is National Honor Society president along with being in basketball cheerleading. In the past, she has been on the softball team, FBLA, and Mock Trial. Both Alexandria and Rachel also were writers for the school’s newspaper Planet Wildcat and the school’s literary magazine.
Of course, Alexandria also designed the t-shirt for the Senior Sunrise event. She worked with her class to choose a quote for the back of the shirt from the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” The money raised from the purchase of their Senior Sunrise shirt will go towards funding other events for the students throughout the year.
“The whole Sunrise Event and the theme of our senior year is about living in the moment and taking advantage of special times in high school while we experience them,” Alexandria explained.
The girls hope to plan a Senior Sundown event at the end of the year for their class to symbolically celebrate the end of their time together at Western Wayne. In the meantime, the class of 2022 plans to enjoy each moment of their much-anticipated senior year.
Picture One: Western Wayne seniors gather on the football field for the Senior Sunrise event on the morning of Monday, Aug. 30.
Picture Two: From left, Alexandria Bien-Aime and Rachel Tuman present the t-shirt that Alexandria designed for the Senior Sunrise event that the girls worked to coordinate.