A Loud Goodbye: Senior Sendoff


Courtesy of PDS

Brooke Littman, Staff Writer

As you roamed through the theater lobby on April 28, you were greeted by a thunderous roar of trumpets, pots, pans, music, and laughter. Despite the happy atmosphere, sadly, on this day, we had to say farewell to our beloved seniors, which we did so by celebrating their legacy. Our seniors are the glue that holds the PDS community together, and their positive influence has affected everyone. The PDS community came together one last time in the theater as we honored our seniors and discussed the impact that they had made. During the assembly, senior class president Rahul Bhatia gave a heart-warming speech about the graduating class and their journey from nervous freshmen to con dent seniors. Mr. Hunt, the dean of the senior class, also gave an emotional address to the senior class, congratulating them on their success, and wishing them the best for the future. Afterward, Mr. Hunt added how the seniors impacted his life, saying, “They’re a really sweet group of kids, and they have a lot of integrity. They’re a lot of fun, so it makes coming to work a lot of fun. I enjoy seeing them. I enjoy being with them. I enjoy talking to them, and it makes my job easy.”

The ceremony concluded with a nostalgic montage of the senior class throughout their time at PDS. The slideshow even included pictures from the class’ eighth grade graduation all the way up to their year. As Mr. Robinson said one last time, “Seniors may rise,” they joyously rose from their seats and ran out of the theater into the theater lobby. There the seniors began their ritual of congregating in the theater lobby where they made a roar of noise to commemorate their time spent at PDS.

Senior Nick Darenkov commented on his emotions during the senior sendoff saying, “It definitely felt bittersweet. Sitting in front of the whole school, you realize that this is your last Upper School gathering ever… Senior sendoff creeps up on you so quickly. I still remember where I sat as a freshman during Upper School gathering. It all happens so quickly; four years really fly by. And it’s hard to stop and appreciate it until you’re sitting up front as a senior in late April.”

Once the seniors leave PDS they spend the next month working on their senior project, an end-of-year, six-week assignment required of every senior. The project can range from doing an internship to organizing a fundraiser. Nick Darenkov noted that he is interning with the Rocky Hill First Aid and Rescue Squad. Claire Szuter is doing a bio-lab that compares the transformation efficiency of E. coli bacteria using a Green Fluorescent Protein enzyme and a new CRISPR-cas9 protein. Kaylah Bland is making a photography/interview book and video based on Brown Girl Empowerment.

When asked about how PDS has impacted her life, senior Claire Szuter commented, “PDS has given me life lessons and friendships that I will never forget, but most importantly, it has given me access to wonderful teachers and rigorous academics that are hard to find anywhere else. PDS has made me proud to be a panther!”

Senior Kayah Bland concluded, “PDS will forever be my home. It’s been my home for the past thirteen years, I’ve learned so much outside of the academics. This is the place where I’ve found myself and found my calling, the place where I’ve met my forever friends. PDS will forever be in my heart and I’m so happy that this is the place I’m ending my last year of high school.”