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Golden Arrow

The student news site of Woodbridge High School

Golden Arrow

The student news site of Woodbridge High School

Golden Arrow

Woodbridge High Senior Send-Off: Bittersweet Goodbyes to the Class of 2024

Woodbridge High teachers celebrate the individuality of the senior class, reminisce on the past four years and offer imparting words to the Class of 2024

For some Woodbridge High staff, the first month of school is the most difficult. For others, the last month of school is the hardest. May is the last full month of every school year, heralding the last hurrah for all, but it is especially bittersweet for high school teachers saying goodbye to their graduating seniors. 

Since the start of a student’s high school career, Woodbridge High staff have been there as educators, mentors and coaches. 

One of the greatest gifts of being a teacher at Woodbridge High is watching students grow. Spanish teacher and senior advisor Nichole LaPeer touches upon this notion. 

“I see [students], and sometimes I can’t believe they’re seniors because I just had them four years ago. It feels like it was yesterday. I think that’s special, remembering what they were like before and seeing [where] they are now,” LaPeer said. 

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All teachers have the privilege of witnessing students grow inside and outside the classroom and many hope the senior class is motivated to continue that growth beyond high school. 

“Learn because you want to and not because you have to. I had some cool teachers in all subjects who were all very passionate. Whether you go to college or you don’t, always keep learning,” English teacher Ruth Alix said. 

Students often look to teachers for support, not just in academics but also for meaningful life lessons. 

Often, these life lessons serve as testaments to generational advice and wisdom passed from teachers who were also once high schoolers with unique experiences. English teacher Samuel Lee recalls his own teachers’ advice, which he still shares with his students today. 

“[Students may] not understand why [teachers] are doing or saying things, but we are doing it to try and help the students, and hopefully [students can] remember and take away something,” Lee said. 

When the Class of 2024 first set foot in high school as freshmen in 2020, their entrance signified a return to normalcy that existed before the Covid-19 pandemic. It also marked the beginning of a more empathetic and self-aware culture, where students and teachers alike were more understanding of campus diversity and community unity throughout school life. 

LaPeer echoes this testament, emphasizing the unique lessons she learned from the senior class.

“This class is one of the first classes that has gone through all of the social change. I’ve been teaching for twenty years, and it’s very different from twenty years ago. I have to constantly update my view of the world because the students update their view of the world. That’s a lesson we have all learned from them,” LaPeer said.

As seniors embark on the next chapter of their lives—whether that be continuing education at four-year universities, local community colleges or entering the workforce—Woodbridge High teachers hope they are continually encouraged to learn and explore beyond their comfort zone in their future endeavors.

“Don’t let fear keep you from doing things you want to do but [are] too scared to do. Enjoy this time that is coming, especially the freedom,” Alix said.

Echoing Alix’s testaments, Lee hopes the senior class will make better choices with their new freedom. 

“Students [who] know me know that I always tell them to make good choices, but as they leave high school, I would encourage them not only to make good choices but to make better choices. Better than good,” Lee said. 

As the 2023-2024 school year ends, teachers and staff celebrate graduating students with heartfelt goodbyes and words of luck and encouragement in the future. The bonds between the Class of 2024 and staff serve as reminders that no matter where the rest of life takes these students, the relationships, lessons and memories formed at Woodbridge High will remain a foundational part of their journey.

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About the Contributor
Annabelle Ko
Annabelle Ko, In-Depth Editor
Hey Warriors! I am very honored to be your In-Depth Editor for the Golden Arrow this year. My name is Annabelle Ko and this is my second year in journalism. I am looking forward to producing print issues and website stories that tell the story of all students and staff at our school! I hope to grow as a journalist and highlight the people and activities that make Woodbridge unique. Happy reading everyone!