The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

Somewhere under the rainbow

Park comes out of the clouds for graduation

A senior’s last year is full of anticipation—students eagerly await the day they graduate and can finally say they survived high school. Park’s graduation ceremony was originally scheduled to take place June 4, but due to weather concerns the commencement ceremony took place June 5.

According to Principal LaNisha Paddock, while the decision was hard to make, Park chose to move the ceremony to ensure the class of ‘24 had a proper send-off.

“Well, tonight is gorgeous, and yesterday was not going to pan out to be as gorgeous. We had to make the hard decision,” Paddock said. “We are able to honor and celebrate all of our graduates in a way that makes the most sense, and doing it in a thunderstorm did not seem like the way that we wanted to celebrate our graduates, so we decided that we would postpone and exactly the same as we would have done it yesterday, but on a better weather day.

While the date of the commencement ceremony changed, the annual senior party was still held on June 5. Senior John Tuite said he wasn’t largely impacted by the date change, but having the senior party the night before graduation made it hard to feel well-rested for the ceremony.

“The only way that it affected me is that I’m a lot more tired right now than yesterday because the senior party was last night, and I didn’t get a lot of sleep because of that,” Tuite said. “But other than that, we have actually perfect weather right now. I am glad that we did change it because it’s a lot nicer right now than it was at this time (yesterday).”

High school is the time where you don’t have to commit forever to what you try.”

— John Tuite

According to graduate Nolan Crump, the senior walk around the football field was a memorable moment from the celebration. He said being able to graduate alongside his friends was special.

“Some highlights would for sure be the walk in (to the stadium), which was really special, and seeing all of my friends and sharing the moment with them,” Crump said.

Paddock said her favorite aspect of the ceremony is that it’s run by students. She said Park is very intentional in making the seniors leaders in the graduation. 

“My favorite part, which is very intentional, is that it’s student-led. We’re very intentional about making sure that the adults are present,” Paddock said. “We send students off really making sure that they are leading their own graduation, they’re able to celebrate each other. That is my favorite part, that all the students come together on the stage. How we just guide each other through the whole ceremony.”

According to Tuite, the commencement speeches made by his peers made the celebration more significant. He said they brought uniqueness to the graduation that aren’t always present.

“The students’ speeches, especially Nolan Crump’s and Erik Lindell’s, two classmates of mine, I really enjoyed those (speeches) because they had a little bit of panache and flair that you don’t always get with the commencement speeches so I really enjoyed those,” Tuite said. 

Crump said he will miss the bonds he formed at Park. He said he was able to form more meaningful bonds throughout the years due to the capacity of the school.

“I’ll miss the sense of community and the friends I have. I enjoy being in a smaller school and getting to know each and every person really well,” Crump said.

According to Tuite, high school is an opportunity for self-discovery as opposed to lifelong commitments. He said to take time as underclassmen to find lasting passions.

“One thing you should definitely use high school to do is find those things (you’re passionate about). Make sure you’re not only passionate in who you are, but passionate enough in what you want to do for the rest of your life,” Tuite said. “High school is the time where you don’t have to commit forever to what you try.”

According to Paddock, seniors’ successful completion of high school feels like sending graduates off into a new chapter of their lives.

This is a huge milestone—for the end of one chapter in a student’s life into the beginning of the next chapter. It’s exciting to see students go off and live their best life in whatever they do in post-secondary,” Paddock said. “This is the final send off to adulthood, college, gap year or trade school, whatever is ahead of them.” 

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Alicia Mainjeni
Alicia Mainjeni, Entertainment Editor
Hey y’all! My name is Alicia and I am the Entertainment editor for the second semester of the 2023-24 school year :). I am a junior and this is my third year as a staffer. In my free time you can find me making jewelry, running around on stage, being an academic homework nerd or laughing until I cry. I am so excited to contribute to this wonderful paper for yet another year. I can't wait to center student voice and inform students about topics that involve them.
Sarah Peterson
Sarah Peterson, Managing Editor
Hi everyone! My name is Sarah and I'm a Managing editor this semester for Echo! I am a junior and I am so excited to be on the Echo staff for my second year. Some things I enjoy doing outside of Echo are playing soccer, going to concerts with friends, and working at the library! 
Anya Panday
Anya Panday, Editor-in-Chief
Howdy!! I’m Anya, and I’m one of the Editors-in-Chief this year, along with Crystal Diaz. I’m a junior, and this is my third year on Echo. When I’m not decorating the Pub, you can find me lifting weights, stress baking, performing on a stage and expanding my scented candle collection. I pride myself in covering content relevant to Parks student body and helping our staffers learn all about journalism. I can’t wait to work with the talented staff this year!
Miles Johnson
Miles Johnson, Echo Staffer
Hey y'all! My names Miles, I'm a junior when I'm not in the #pub I'm thrifting, baking, cooking or hanging out with friends. I'm super excited to be a part of Echo for my first year! And I'm excited to get to know our amazing editor and staff this year!

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