Sep. 22—It's spirit week at Lebanon High School, and for the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic, the senior class is conducting a full homecoming parade this Friday.
The senior class president indicated they were ready to leave their mark on the school.
Daryl Mitchell is the senior class president for the class of 2023. Her first year of high school was the last time that the school was able to hold a regular homecoming event.
"I did cheer that year, so I got to be on the cheer float," Mitchell said.
The senior remembers that day fondly, from meandering through town to throwing out candy to cheering fans. After the COVID-19 pandemic began and the students went to a hybrid learning model, the school canceled most extraneous activities outright.
"It was disappointing," Mitchell said. "We didn't have football games. We didn't have dress-up days. It was really sad."
Her junior year provided at least some relief.
"Last year, we had a parade, but it was minimal," Mitchell said. "Another thing that happened was that it was storming. It was kind of chaotic. Everybody was drenched, but the parade still went on. It was memorable and kind of funny."
Now, it's Mitchell and the rest of the seniors' turn to shine.
"Many of my friends and I are ecstatic," Mitchell said. "We have a homecoming theme, so we can wear our costumes to school. We've started working on ideas for a homecoming float.
"It will be a competition among grades, so, hopefully, the seniors will come out on top."
After more than a few letdowns during their school days, the senior class will not let the homecoming opportunity pass them by.
"I believe the class of 2023 specifically is very competitive, especially between grades," Mitchell said. "We haven't had the chance to prove ourselves and compete in events like homecoming or games at pep rallies, so I think it's important for us this year to leave a legacy at Lebanon since we haven't had the chance to yet."
Serena Robertson is a first-year English honors teacher. She leads an advanced placement seminar and serves as the student council sponsor.
"I organize a number of school-wide events," Robertson said.
Robertson works with the student government on projects like school elections, homecoming parades and court ceremonies. "I tell freshmen if they want to get involved to join student government, because they do a little bit of everything," Robertson said.
The student council sponsor indicated that they began 2021 with high hopes. "Last year was hard, because we started the year strong, hoping it would be a normal school year," Robertson said. "As the parade got closer, we had to cancel school for a week because COVID numbers spiked. We decided that we could not in good conscience do a parade through the town and encourage people to congregate, so we opted just to have it around the school."
Robertson mentioned that the safety concerns resulted in a watered-down modified parade route that stayed on school property.
"We had a small, modified parade, with only the senior class floats and homecoming cars," Robertson said. "We wanted to do something, because we realized our freshman and sophomore had never seen a homecoming parade."
Unfortunately, for their good intentions, the weather didn't cooperate.
"It was a little bit of a disaster," Robertson said. "We were slow-moving that morning, and then, it rained on our parade literally. Everyone was soaking wet. Everyone's shoes were squeaking when we got back in the school."
Robertson and other teachers found a silver lining despite it pouring down on them.
"I was riding with Mr. Davis, our auto mechanics teacher," Robertson said. "I was soaking wet, and I said to him, look at this mess. I can't believe it. He replied, 'You know what ... look at everyone's faces. They are all smiling."
With spirit week and homecoming centered around the Friday night football opponent, the Lincoln County High School Falcons, the senior class at LHS will be hoping to get the last laugh.