Staff Editorial: Celebrating success

An irregular high school experience has taught the graduating class of 2022 to appreciate the small things

Gabby Delpleash, Mill Valley News editor-in-chief

On Aug. 2, 2021, when school board members voted to start the class of 2022’s senior year with required masking, hope for the year to have any return to normalcy seemed too far out of reach. Now, in spite of the roller coaster filled year that was keeping up with on-and-off mask policies, a canceled WoCo pep assembly and impromptu staff and substitute shortages, the class of 2022’s exceptional tenacity sits before them as one of their greatest defining qualities. 

From watching senior Allison Rader scream victoriously after winning the pep assembly game of class musical chairs, to watching senior Katie Schwartzkopf cross the finish line to win the 5A cross country state title, to rushing the field at Carnie Smith stadium to celebrate the football team’s state championship three-peat, seniors have been reminded time and time again the importance of cherishing all of life’s moments, big or small.

Packing the stands at the first football game of the year reminded seniors of how much they missed bringing together the community. Witnessing seniors Laird Toland and Lauren Payne get crowned prom king and queen at Arrowhead Stadium instead of in a livestream reminded us of how much we desire to be present and in the moment. Cheering in the main gym as Relay for Life chairs revealed over $100,000 raised in the fight against cancer reminded us of how much we missed celebrating our accomplishments and successes in the presence of our peers. The class of 2022 was left with no shortage of “last experiences” to be reminded of the fact that nothing should ever be taken for granted.

Losing the normality of their high school careers sophomore year to COVID-19 and, ultimately, watching the disappointingly uneventful senior year of the preceding graduating class was enough for any high schooler to question “Why us? Why now?” A junior year marked by uncertainty left seniors wondering if normalcy would return for their final year of high school. However, the class of 2022 has shown unparalleled tenaciousness; an endless exhibition of unshakable grit and resilience that beckons the response “Why not us? Why not now?” 

Years into the future when this year’s graduates look back on the crazy four years that shaped their high school experience, this year’s seniors should remember the sea of blue that was the foyer when they sang Taylor Swift’s “22” at the top of our lungs. They should remember how they felt when they walked through the halls of Mill Valley for the last time as teachers and students lined the halls to cheer for us. They should remember how far they had come and how much they had cherished when they remembered to not take life for granted.

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