Seniors bond at senior sunrise

Tradition continues after weather delay


As seniors arrived before the sun came up at the football stadium on September 23, they were greeted by early morning doughnuts provided by St. Francis Student Council. Wrapped in blankets and fall jackets, the seniors waited for the sun to rise. 

The traditional Senior Sunrise event had been postponed from the week prior because of rain. As part of the tradition, both students and invited staff gave speeches to add to the symbolic meaning of the sun rising on the class of 2023.

The tradition started when Julie Cuscaden was the Student Council adviser about a dozen years ago. 

“We actually got the idea from a motivational speaker that talks around the country,” said Cuscaden. “The idea started with all of the seniors together with good bonding time.” 

Students and staff alike were a little nervous to speak in front of the crowd.

“I still get a little bit nervous even though I’ve done it a few times,” said Language Arts Teacher Joel Olson who was invited to speak.  “A few people have noticed how difficult it is to use that microphone with your voice bouncing back.”

Senior Anna Haider said that she actually lost her original thoughts, so she did an impromptu speech. 

“Speaking at senior sunrise was a little bit nerve wracking,” she said, “and apparently nobody could hear me.”

Sound issues aside, teachers and students gave their opinions on how to be good role models and how to spend their last year in highschool. 

“We start the fall with all the seniors together and good bonding time to talk about what kind of year they want and what leaders they want for the school”, said Cuscaden. They are the elders that set the tone.”

The student council liked the symmetry of starting with senior sunrise in the fall and then looking back in the spring to reflect on what kind of impact the senior class had.

Olson believes it is a nice way to start the last year of high school.

“It was a nice event,” he said. “It was nice to see the sun coming up in the east this morning and it’s always an honor to speak to the senior class.”