Farewell to West, from a 2018 Graduate

The Class of 2018 cheers during February's Clash of the Classes competition.

LifeTouch Photography

The Class of 2018 cheers during February's Clash of the Classes competition.

Jimmeaha Mack, Staff Reporter

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As the seasons continue to shift, and yet another summer comes around, realization has set in that the Class of 2018 is not coming back to attend another school year at Downingtown West High School, a school filled with not only many diverse perspectives and outlooks from students and teachers alike, but also many laughs shared among classmates and important lessons spread all around.

After her four years here, Kristina Griste (‘18) says, “Going to West taught me you can accomplish anything as long as you put in the hard work. If you slack off, you don’t receive that good grade but you work hard enough and you’re teacher realizes, not only will you get a good grade but they can boost something if needed because they’ve seen the effort you put in.”

For the Class of 2018 graduates, their four years, at some point, were filled with excitement about the first day of high school, anxiety over standardized testing and applying to college, and, for Alex Martino (‘18),  “Senior year was [my] favorite year. That was the year I grew the most and matured the most and realized how fortunate we are to live here. Also so many fun things happened: LINK, HoCo court, prom, etc., and I really enjoyed my time”.

While reflecting on her time at Downingtown West, Deja Outten (‘18) expressed her appreciation for her role model “Mrs Schumann. She goes above and beyond for her students. She lets everyone know that she is there for each and everyone of her students. She also has a constant smile just to let everyone know it’s going to be okay.”

Speaking of another role model, fellow senior Isabel Pitalue (‘18) said, “Señora Perez was hands down my role model for the last four years! I had her three years in a row and she just taught me so much in and out of the classroom! She was always there to talk whenever I needed to, and she is always so helpful and understanding (as a teacher). She always put a smile on my face!”

Because of their departure, the seniors will be leaving the school to the new upper- and under-classmen, who will have the difficult task of filling the shoes of the classes before them, and creating their own shoes to fill; for this reason, senior Jimmeaha Mack (‘18) advises them to “seize the moment and get involved; one of my favorite things about West was how easy it was to get involved in almost anything. For example, this year I joined 6 clubs, and one was with a language that I never took, let alone know how to speak. And at this point, I am happier to say that I have memories of these things, instead of regrets on not doing it, or even thoughts about ‘what if’ I had tried something. And even though it may seem too time-consuming, or sometimes like a waste of your time, try to enjoy your time here and be present because it all goes by very quickly, and once it’s over, it’s over, and there’s no possible way that you will be able to get these years of your life back!”

As time continues to dwindle down, and the only school-sponsored events that the seniors have left to look forward to–including graduation practices, finals, senior prom and yes, graduation–start to come and go, a goodbye must be said to the school that seemed to evolve just as much as we did in these last four years. So, thank you West, for the endless laughter and smiles that made us feel a sense of community and belonging; thank you for the stressful moments, that gave us strength and confidence that no matter the outcome, we can truly get through anything; thank you for all the hardships and sometimes bad grades, that taught us that things don’t always turn out the way we imagine, but through every hardship is a life lesson; and, finally, thank you for the comradery, that makes leaving so difficult, but returning from our future endeavors to visit and come back to Downingtown, that much more worthwhile.

From a building built with only cement cinder blocks and equipped with bad quality laptops, yet great quality people, the senior Class of 2018 walks out the front doors of the school, but into the open arms of their future endeavors. 

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” -Dr. Seuss

Jimmeaha Mack
Members of the Class of 2018 gather for one last photograph together as Whippets.

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