photo courtesy by Mrs.Waters
As the seniors of PMHS get ready to finish their final few weeks as Pelicans, their class advisors, Mr. Sircio and Mrs. Waters, have a few parting thoughts:
In June of 2016, I was assisting the Senior Class in their Graduation Rehearsal, when Mrs. Ricci, now since retired, approached me about becoming a Class Advisor. I had just received tenure from the district and thought this would be a unique opportunity. When I confirmed that I would be willing to do it, Mrs. Ricci tasked me with finding a co-advisor. Mrs. Waters had served as the Class Advisor of the 2005 graduating class and I thought having a seasoned veteran would help guide the class especially in the early years. Little did I know that these past 4 years with the Class of 2020 would be some of the most consequential of my 10 years in public education.
This Class has helped boost my confidence in the classroom and in the school community. The young adults in this class have always demonstrated the important character traits of perseverance, kindness, cooperativeness and humor. Mrs. Waters and I could not have asked for a better group of students to advise.
I will always remember fondly the late night laughs and conversations in the weeks leading up to the Olympics. Seeing a group of timid Freshmen become poised, resilient and industrious Seniors has been an absolute treat to watch.
As they move on from High School, I would like to leave them with a piece of advice from former President George H.W. Bush that I feel encapsulates who they are and will continue to be. “Be Bold In Your Caring, Be Bold In Your Dreaming and Above All Else, Always Do Your Best.” I look forward to seeing how this Class will truly make our world a much better place. I will miss the Class of 2020 in our school, but will cherish the memories I shared with them.
I have been a teacher at PMHS for 20 years and this is my second time being a class advisor (my first experience was the Class of 2005-eek!!). Though the first class I advised was special and fun, the Class of 2020 will always have a special place in my heart. When Mr. Sirico first approached me about being an advisor for this class, I’ll be honest–I was not sure I’d have the energy and stamina that I had back in 2005. But, my memories of being an advisor, the events, and the fun I had with them, as well as the special bonds that I created with them made it an easy “yes” for me.
I remember the first time I met the Class of 2020. It was the end of August 2016 and we were in the main gym and they all were in groups- circles- during their freshman orientation, doing a team building activity. I remember looking around,watching all of them in their circles, smiling, laughing, working together, and at that moment I knew that they were a very special and unique group of young men and women.
I still remember their first Olympics- the silly walk practices for their “Famous Freshman” theme, in particular, like it was yesterday. I remember all the laughter, and yes-the frustration of their peers not showing until the last two nights- and their ability to come together, make the best of it, and show PMHS that the Class of 2020 was not like any other class. I remember teachers coming up to me saying that their decorations and silly walk was one of the best they had seen from a freshman class in their time at PMHS.
While it is not one memory, I would say that my fondest memories of the class of 2020 has been seeing them doing what I saw the first day I met them on that hot August 2016 afternoon–working together, laughing, talking, coming together, and showing PMHS that this class was like no other. Each moment, event, SA Meeting, seeing and waving to them in the hallway, and each conversation has resonated with me during our time together. I will miss our silly walk practices, late nights decorating, the conversations and the laughs/silly moments.
I will always remember the week of the Talent Show where I saw their creativity, humor, and true talent and amazing musical skills. I will miss seeing you in the hall, waving hello to me, and even the occasional “Hi Queen!” and your beautiful smiles.
As the last four years have passed, I have felt so fortunate and blessed to continue to be able to get to know this incredible class as one of their Advisors. I have so many fond memories of KINDNESS, COMPASSION,EMPATHY, LAUGHTER, RESILIENCE, DETERMINATION and conversations with each and EVERY one of them that I will cherish forever.
So in a final message, I’d like to say to you all, the Wonderful Class of 2020:
I know that this is not what any of you envisioned for ending your time in the Pelham Schools and your Senior year of High School. While I am so very sad that the year is ending this way, I want you to know how incredibly proud I am of each and every one of you. You have blown me away with your maturity, poise, compassion, keeping your heads high, and continuing to move forward during these unprecedented times.
I wanted to thank each of you for giving me the opportunity and true gift of being your advisor, and want you to know that you have a special place in my heart forever. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your four years at Pelham Memorial High School. Thank YOU for changing MY life as a teacher and as a person, and thank you for being such incredible role models for us and for the community.
Whether your post High School path is college, a career, or military service, I want you to always remember to take care of each other as you have done here at PMHS, and show people all along your path that you are like no other. Show them your compassion, kindness, genuine nature, and your determination. Continue to show people that no matter what curveballs and obstacles life throws, that you can rise above it and handle it with dignity, as you have shown all of us over the last few months.
I miss you now and will miss you when you go on your post PMHS Path. I want you to know that I am always here for you, and look forward to hearing about the great things you continue to do and the goals you accomplish as you start a new and exciting chapter of your lives.