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Online newspaper of Altoona Area High School in Altoona, Pennsylvania
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The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

The Student News Site of Altoona Area High School

Mountain Echo

Senior week to take place week of May 20

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Mattie Baker
Senior sneak peek. A senior decorates her parking spot during the 2023 Senior Week. Parking spot and car decorating have been a key part of the school’s Senior Week (photo courtesy of Megan Shultz).

When high school alumni Jocelyn Fetter and Benjamin Blackie first created Senior Week, they didn’t expect it to turn into a high school tradition, yet that’s exactly what happened. Senior Week has since served as a tradition for honoring seniors before they take their next steps in life. It includes four theme days, which will be from May 21 to May 24. This year the committee’s head is senior Megan Shultz. 

“There is a lot of planning to make sure senior week is successful,” Shultz said. “To start out, I had to figure out what activities and themes I wanted to take place. We had to go through meetings with Mr. Nedimeyer, Mr. Neely and Mr. and Mrs. Dumm to get everything approved. It was difficult this year because school is letting out so early, so we don’t have as many days to work with. After I figured out the days, I had to get people to be on committees for each day. Since then, the people on each committee take over and do the planning for their day which is a huge relief for me.”

The schedule for Senior Week is as follows:

Tuesday, May 21 will be cap decorating in the black box theater. Seniors who purchased a ticket will go down in the afternoon and are advised to bring extra materials in case the ones provided are not what they want. 

Wednesday, May 22 will be yearbook signing in the black box theater. Those who bought a yearbook will report there during first period to receive it, and those who also bought tickets will stay until the end of third period to get autographs from their fellow seniors. 

Thursday, May 23 will be the tailgate and car decorating in the student parking lot. It is also the day of the senior walk. Following the walk, seniors will report to their cars and will decorate them. Between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m., grilled hamburgers and hotdogs will be served and the tailgate portion of the event will commence. During the tailgate, students have the opportunity to hang out with their friends and even participate in a cornhole tournament. 

Friday, May 24, will be the final day of Senior Week and the senior sunrise at Mansion Park. Mansion’s gates will open at 4:45 a.m., and the event will begin at 5:05 a.m. It will start with a few short speeches and an announcement of the basket raffle winner. Following this, the seniors will release their balloons into the sky above Mansion. 

“It’s the last big thing we get to do as seniors,” senior Baylee Newman said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Both Newman and fellow senior Abigail Miller are especially excited to walk through the halls of their elementary schools one more time and are also looking forward to the theme days. Specifically, the “Rhyme Without Reason Day.”

“I knew from the start that for senior week I wanted to do non-basic theme days like Hawaiian or USA,” Shultz said. “I did some searching and watched some funny Tik Toks, and I knew exactly what I wanted.”

Tuesday will be “Rhyme Without Reason Day”. Wednesday will be “Jersey Day”. Thursday will be “Future College or Admissions Day”.  And Friday will be “PJ Day”.  

“Megan Shultz and I have some good ideas for ‘Rhyme Without Reason,’” Miller said. “It’s just a fun and laughable kind of theme. I can’t wait to see what my peers are doing that day.”

To participate, seniors must purchase a ticket. Tickets are $10 each and will be sold throughout the week of May 6 during each lunch period. Seniors who are cyber can also get tickets in the ACA office. Senior week t-shirts are $15 each. If a student tries to enter an event without a ticket, they won’t be allowed in. 

“The best part of this process is getting to sit back and watch it all come together,” Shultz said. “I am excited to be the one taking charge and even though it can be stressful at times, it will be worth it in the end.”

Shultz’s comment is fitting to not just Senior Week but senior year in general. Because although school itself can be draining, it all builds up to a single point: graduation. 

“As much as I used to want to graduate, and believe me I still do, I am going to miss the moments of high school,” Miller said. “But I am so excited to see what my future holds.”

Taking the next steps in life can be intimidating. Senior week is meant to soften that difficult transition. 

It’s the final countdown of days with the people and community that you’ve grown up with,” Shultz said. “Make the most of it. Buy the ticket. Have fun.”

Video by Madison Aboud, Melissa Krainer, Emmalee Martyak and Miley Naugle. Music by Vance Joy
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About the Contributor
Mattie Baker
Mattie Baker, Reporter
My name is Mattie Baker, and this is my first year on staff! I've always loved reading and writing. My goal this year is to write a complete book. My dream job, at the moment, is to work at Barnes & Nobles and drink Starbucks on the daily. I'm obsessed with action movies like "Bullet Train," "John Wick" and "James Bond." I also have a passion for art. I've been taking extra art classes for over 10 years! Later in my life, I hope to be a storyboard artist and author.

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