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Class of 2020 Rises to the Top


The Class of 2019 finished their goodbyes, and a bright future awaits the Class of 2020. This class of seniors is beginning to take on new experiences and lead Gilmour.

Seniors show leadership by keeping the Student Center neat and clean.

Current seniors have learned a lot from the preceding class and feel like they have big shoes to fill. The Class of 2019 commandeered programs like Speech & Debate, Service, Drama, and Athletics. Without delay, current seniors are already stepping into leadership spots that include Student Council, Yearbook, and Robotics. Angela Liu (’20) said, “It is important to look to the future with the past in mind.”

Leadership comes with responsibility.

Based on several interviews, seniors are excited for their final year. Most are just excited to be graduating after watching past classes lead. Cate O’Haimhirgin (’20) said, “Senior year is a special year. You do things that you don’t normally do during your high school career. It is the home stretch.” As an Upper School Awards winner for service and leadership, O’Haimhirgin looks forward to setting an example for younger classmates.

Shannon Traynor (’20) plays hockey and is particularly excited about Kairos and spiritual life. She said, “After looking up to last year’s seniors as the higher-ups, we are being handed the torch.”

Samantha Sargi (‘20) plays soccer and softball. She’s also a leading member of Drama Club and C.A.U.S.E. Sargi said, “It is cool to not have anyone older than us. It is a big responsibility, but also a lot of fun.”

Concerns can be overcome.

As for any worries, the college search is a big one for the Class of 2020. Finding the right college, applying, and hoping to get in are already creating some stress for seniors. Brady Nolan (’20) is mostly interested in midwestern colleges. He said, “Having to wait until January is somewhat stressful. Also, I hope to do well with my college essay.”

Ms. Tracy Stockard, Director of College Counseling, has been working with seniors in their English classes. Hallie Callitsis (’20) said, “I finished my college letter this week and hope to finish my edits over the weekend.”

Another concern is the infamous ‘senior slide.’ Connor O’Toole (’20) plays basketball and belongs to the National Honor Society. He said, “We have to stay productive all year. If we let the senior slide happen, that could follow us into college, and even prevent us from being admitted into the colleges of our choice.”

Community Block helps everyone.

As the seniors carefully navigate their final year, they are also experiencing some major changes. When discussing the Community Block, many seniors expressed feeling responsible for leading the school during this time of change.

Traynor said, “Last year, I wasn’t really sure what it would be like. But having Community Block in the middle of the day to meet with clubs and do other activities is pretty cool.”

Allie Breen (’20) plays soccer and lacrosse and enjoys creative writing. She said, “I think the Community Block helps clear up time after school. I don’t feel so overwhelmed at the end of the day since I can take care of extracurriculars during school.”

Sargi looks at Community Block with some caution. She said, “It might feel hectic at times, but good communication is occurring and people are willing to adapt. It is going smoothly. It is also a challenge because we have been used to block scheduling and have to be leaders of the new way.”

Seniors are excited about performing arts.

In addition to the new Community Block, the seniors will also be the first graduating class to experience the new Lorraine and Bill Dodero Center for Performing Arts. This center will open up a stage of opportunities for those interested in performing arts, speech and debate, and many other activities. Having it will also help those activities gain support and recognition. Traynor said, “I have watched it being built from my dorm window, so it is really exciting to have it finally put together.”

With the Bill and Lorraine Dodero Center for Performing Arts exterior nearly completed, students are excited and hopeful.

Sargi said, “I have been waiting for this for the past three years as a member of the Drama Club since freshman year. I am so excited to see it come to life, I might scream. The new theater is going to be amazing.”



Seniors appreciate new field and track.

As for Weber Stadium, many rising seniors look forward to enjoying leadership roles in a state-of-the-art environment. Panrtelis Goudas (’20) hopes to play soccer on the new turf soon. He said, “I can’t wait to enjoy the new field.”

Connor Krebs (’20) and Christian Fowlkes (`20) have already played on the turf with the Varsity football team. Krebs said, “The new turf is one-of-a-kind. We love it. Bring on the new season.”

Students are excited for the Weber Stadium renovations that hope to raise school spirit and improve conditions.

Sargi said, “I hope we bring more excitement to games and the plays and musicals. I think we have support for big games like rivalries, but I think we need to as a school go to more games and show our school spirit all the time.”

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Growing up in Shaker Heights, Arianna DiMenna set her goal of becoming a Disney Imagineer. This dream led her to an award winning speech about this job. Writing speeches strengthened her writing skills and led her to taking News Production as a Freshman. This is her third year with the Lance, and second as an editor. She is also interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), design, theater, art, and service. She is a part of Women in STEM, Drama Club, Speech and Debate, Robotics, MAD Club, and The Prep yearbook. Arianna hopes to start a club about something she cares about and hopefully compete at the National Speech and Debate Tournament before she graduates.