McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

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The next step

Senior decision day honored students next step after high school 
On May 3, MCHS hosted senior decision day to celebrate seniors’ plan for after high school

Every MCHS student sits in the main gym lining the bleachers and the floor is filled with seniors celebrating their next step. The counselors list off every seniors’ name that has decided what their next step is with a slideshow behind them to demonstrate where that senior is going. The moment each senior’s name gets called, they stand and are met with applause from the audience. 

Senior Decision Day is a day of honoring seniors next step regardless of what it is. This was MCHS’s second year honoring Senior Decision Day as a large ceremony. Nationally, is May 1 every year, but MCHS honored seniors on a special Decision Day ceremony on May 2.

However, national Senior Decision Day is different this year than it has been in the past due to the FAFSA delay so most schools have pushed back their decision date. No matter what decision or possible decision for the next step each student has made they were honored on May 2 at MCHS. 

“For some seniors it will be like just tell us all the schools that are on your list and probably many of seniors wont have a exact decision,” said Curtis Menke, MCHS’s college and career counselor. “It’s more kind of on an individual basis. I want to make sure that we honor everyone but we want to do it in a way that doesn’t make people feel uncomfortable or add to their anxiety.”

The goal was to make seniors feel honored rather than stressed about senior decision day if they have not decide where their next step is. The counselors wanted students to feel honored for where their next step is or might be. 

“I’ve talked with several seniors who like ironically, this event is, is adding to their stress in some ways,” said Menke. “We want seniors to take a next step, but I want to do it in a way that’s authentic and not artificial. With some seniors, I’m doing my best with my messaging to support them.”

Most of the seniors that were at Decision Day felt the support and congratulations from their peers, teachers, and the students within the bleachers. 

“I think it’s nice that everyone gets to be recognized for what they’re doing after high school,” stated Evan Hoeft, a senior at MCHS. “It’s all like the same way for everyone and that they’re all celebrated equally because I don’t think anyone’s decision should have more impact. It shouldn’t be weighed more based on what you’re doing. I think everyone should be celebrated equally and I think Decision Day does a great job of doing that.”

Not only did senior decision day give students an opportunity to be honored by the school, it also allowed students to know who might be or is going to school with them. 

“There is a girl going to my school, and I’ve never talked to her before, but I talked to her yesterday and I guess it just made me more comfortable going to my school,” stated Samantha Goff, a senior at MCHS. “I thought it would be weird just going with this stranger who I know but I don’t know, but now we kind of talked and I think it will be better.”

Senior decision day honored and celebrated the graduating class of 2024’s decision on their next step after high school, which was successful in regards to being meaningful to the students. 

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