“Please rise for the national anthem,” a sleepy crowd of Upper School students heard Mr. Gannon say on their first day of school. Sophomores and juniors, veterans to the morning assembly routine in the FAC, were puzzled; singing wasn’t usually on the agenda. However, unsuspecting freshmen obediently placed their hands over their hearts and gazed toward the flag on the corner of the stage. But then the anthem began to warp into an upbeat song, and in stormed the Class of 2013. Screaming, whistling, throwing candy and streamers, and waving the American flag, the seniors raced up and down the aisles. Their electrifying entrance culminated in the traditional mosh pit on stage as the rest of the student body awkwardly remained in their seats and watched the celebration.
“My sophomore year, when the Class of 2011 entered, Alex Davis [’11] was completely on the outside of the mob fist pumping and doing his own thing. He kind of inspired Lucy [Wellborn] and me to just go crazy and give everybody something to look at,” senior Ellie Weber said. Student body president Miles Sheft commented, “It was totally surreal. I’m sure from every other grade’s point of view it looked like a normal, obnoxious senior entrance, but when you’re actually up there, it’s so much more than that.”
So what makes this beloved tradition different this time around? What separates the Class of 2013 from all those before them? “We’re the 50th class to graduate the school and we’re also the last to graduate from the old high school building,” Miles said. Twelfth grade dean Mr. Hattori, when asked the same question, said, “This class is very artistic and are very involved and interested in things outside of academics. We have so many service leaders in this grade, and many students are even involved in projects outside of Pace.”
When asked about the impression the Class of 2013 hopes to make on Pace Academy, Miles answered, “We want to leave Pace as a class that was known to have a lot of fun, work hard, include everyone, and set a good example for what a senior class should be like.” Mr. Hattori said, “This class is very inclusive and very friendly. I feel like when this grade graduates, it won’t only be a senior class celebration, but a whole school celebration as well.”
By Riley Muse, Staff Writer ’14
Photo Credit – Fred Assaf