I was blessed as a teacher at New Tech Academy to have great colleagues. One of them, Scott Brown, and I stumbled upon YES Prep’s Senior Signing Day. We were moved and decided to replicate it at our school. It was an amazing experience for staff and students alike.
Fast forward to today. Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative has challenged schools around the country to continue to help ALL students reach their potential and pursue knowledge and growth after high school. Today at New Tech High in Napa, CA, we celebrated our first Senior Signing Day. We had over 30 students publicly pledge their commitment to the university or branch of the armed forces.
We believe that Senior Signing Day does two things:
- It celebrates the success and perseverance of 4 years of high school
- It sets a pathway and goal for underclassmen to strive for
The college application process is one of the most stressful experiences for any one person. Filled with indecision, nerves, and fear, it can cripple the most successful students. It also brings tears, joy, and the feeling of emptiness waiting for the acceptance letters. Today’s Senior Signing Day allowed us to grab that process by the horns and celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2016. It also created a benchmark for all underclassmen to strive for. “Where do I start? What questions do I have? What do I have to do to get in there? Who do I talk to?” were some of the questions I heard posed after the event. Now that is a cause worth celebrating.