Senior celebration features performances, speeches, paper toss

Sandhya Krishnan, Reporter

Seniors crowd together on the senior deck at 3:30 pm on Friday, in anticipation of the paper toss to celebrate one of their last days of high school. “Paly Class of 2022 you are the GOAT!” Filppu said. “You are the Greatest of All Time! You are the comeback kids who have defined a generation! And now you are the face of a new generation.” (Photo: Annelise Balentine)

Students and teachers are praising Friday’s inaugural Senior celebration on the Quad to congratulate the Class of 2022 on completing their final year of high school.

Taking place of the Baccalaureate, the event included varying performances and speakers. Senior class president Mathew Signorello-Katz and teacher Lucy Filppu both spoke. 

Signorello-Katz thanked the Class of 2022 by sharing his experiences of being class president throughout high school. 

“One of the most important lessons I have learned in the past few years is the value of time and how we use it,” Signorello-Katz said. “We are all on this earth for a finite amount of time, and the future comes quicker than we ever could have imagined.”

 Likewise, Filppu centered her speech over some of the events that happened over the past year.

“Who can forget the Zombie Apocalypse, I mean the pandemic, with our Zoomed out hellscape,” Filppu said. “But you came back better than before, packing our first homecoming dance, bringing your mojo to Spirit Week. You missed some of sophomore and all of junior year on campus. You were down at half time. But you came back. At a time when the entire world stopped, you never did.” 

Fillpu’s speech highlighted the dedicated work brought by the seniors to bring life back to campus post pandemic. 

“Masks are off and I see the new face of this generation,” Filppu said. “I see our future scientists, I see our future astronauts, writers, advocates, politicians, artists, our musicians and our business leaders.”

In addition to speakers, performances from the student body were also showcased at the event. One of which was a juggling act performed by the Juggling club, featuring seniors Meya Gao and Jeremy Yun, and sophomore Jacob Winefeld. 

Despite being part of the club throughout their time at Paly, the opportunity to perform was not something so prevalent. 

 “It’s great to be able to share some of the stuff we worked on, especially since this was our first ever full juggling performance in front of a crowd.” Yun said. 

Being seniors, this was both Gao and Yun’s last performance as part of the club.

“I feel honored to be part of the first senior juggling show in years, and I feel amazing to be able to share a less common art form with the community as my last performance at Paly.” Gao said. 

Other acts included performances from the varsity dance team and the acapella group, Vikapella, which showcased a rendition of I want you back by the Jackson 5. 

Although the event was mainly meant for seniors, students from all grades and parents were able to enjoy the performances.

“I thought it was really nice,” junior Audrey Guo said. “I didn’t know what to expect going into it, but it was really fun.”

Finally, after all festivities had wrapped up, the seniors took to the senior deck with bunches of old schoolwork in their hands. As they huddled together, they chanted the countdown as 3:30 p.m. approached. “Three! Two! One!” the crowd cheered as a flurry of papers were thrown into the sky, concluding their senior year.