Class of 2017 Looks Back

Senior Amanda Hinson spends her last days connecting with faculty, including Mrs. Wilhelmsen, while Taylor Upchurch spends some of her time with her younger sister Jordan Upchurch.

As the seniors prepare to graduate tomorrow, they cannot help but reflect upon their time at Pace. Each of them will likely view Pace as having had a significant impact on their lives, even though every student’s experience is individual. 27 seniors have been at Pace since pre-first, which gives them the designation of “lifer.” Senior and lifer Jake Movsovitz says that he will miss Pace. “Pace has basically been a second home to me,” said Jake. “It’s been awesome to be here since pre-first because I’ve seen and been a part of our school growing to new heights.”

The Knightly News conducted a survey to find out what the Class of 2017 is most grateful for with regard to their time spent at Pace. In the top category, 17.95% of the 39 responders are most grateful for good friends. Coming in second, 12.82% of the seniors are most grateful for great teachers. In a four-way tie at 10.26%, those responding are grateful for a loving and supporting community, ICGL trips, happy memories, and a safe place to grow as a person. Seniors are also grateful for a great education, at 7.69%. Beyond that are good food, athletics/teammates, getting into their desired college, and developing a passion for something.

One senior responded that he/she was grateful for “not only a great academic education, but an education of the world and of life. Pace has provided me with stellar faculty and staff that have helped me grow and learn about the real world. I know I am better off because of Pace.”

It is a time of mixed feelings for many. Senior Michael Chen is heading to Washington University of St. Louis for fall semester. “I’m really excited to begin the next chapter of my life in St. Louis, but also extremely sad about leaving my friends at Pace, people I’ve known since sixth grade,” he said.

The Class of 2017 will be heading to colleges as close by as Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology and as far away as the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Seniors have been accepted to top schools such as Harvard, Princeton, Dartmouth, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University and University of Chicago. Thirteen seniors are headed to schools to pursue athletics along with academics. These include students playing football, basketball, volleyball, soccer, baseball, golf and swimming at the college level.

“They [the seniors] are a remarkable class,” said college counselor Gavin Bradley. “They are one of the strongest testing classes we’ve had during my time at Pace, but we’ve found them more remarkable for their willingness to engage with the adults in their lives.” Prashanth Kumar is headed to Harvard. “I am thankful to Pace for getting me into my dream school,” he said. “I couldn’t have done it without the teachers, staff and college counselors getting me through it all.”

Although the class of 2017 is moving on, their impact on Pace will remain. “They [the seniors] are a beautiful group of individuals,” said their dean, math teacher Krista Wilhelmsen. “They will not be forgotten… They are amazing scholars and athletes and everything in between. They have left their mark everywhere on this campus, and it’s been an amazing year.”