The last class, the last sporting or arts event, the last pep rally ... The end of high school not only is an emotional time for seniors but for educators, too. So, in Only at Gibbons fashion, educators said the best way to make their goodbyes to the Class of 2018 extra special was to turn the gym into an elegant dining hall and host the first-ever Senior Supper.
While there are other occasions to bid farewell to seniors, from the senior picnic to Baccalaureate Mass and of course, Graduation, they are all times seniors also share with families or friends, or both. Senior Supper, which took place on May 21, was designed to be an exclusive time between educators and students; a time to reflect and share good memories with seniors as they prepare to embark on the next chapter in their lives.
“The supper is OUR time for hugs and farewells,” said Math Educator Shari Frederick. Dance Director Brooks Owens agreed and added: “The supper is our chance to serve them and give them one last goodbye before they graduate. Educators do everything - set up, organize, cook, clean, and serve at the event.”
Frederick said a group of about 30 educators planned the supper for around six months, but its success is due to the more than 30 educators who came together to make it special. “The added hope,” she noted, “is that the seniors will look back on this night as one of their favorite final memories of Gibbons.”
And there were plenty of memorable Gibbons memories - for sure. Who could forget educators cooking dinner for or dressed in waiters’ garb serving meals to seniors. And there were Frederick’s joyful welcome, and Director of Outreach Ministry Gary Meyerl ’82 expressive talk about the meaning behind the Gibbons crosses given to each senior. There were also English Educator Michael Friedman’s notable rendition of “Wagon Wheel,” English Educator Julie Perry’s heartfelt goodbye, and Math Educator Dr. John Sprague playing the bagpipes and leading the way as the seniors exited the gym
Perhaps the most memorable moment was when seniors took their seats for dinner. Once there, they turned over the program for the evening, placed at each senior’s table setting, to find a graduation photo of and a quotation offering some sage advice from an educator. The seniors were fascinated.
They were also grateful for the entire evening. “Tonight, I felt the joy and love that has surrounded me for four years,” said Jacob Miles ’18. "I am beyond blessed to have not only the Class of 2018 at my side, but also the educators who have shaped me into the person I have become.”
Meredith McElroy ’18 added: “How lucky are we to go to a school where our educators live out the mission of Christ every day, humbly and faithfully caring for each one of us… The Senior Supper was the perfect place to break bread with my peers and celebrate our Gibbons family!”
“This event,” noted Kaitlyn Hickey, “truly captures the essence of the service we have been inspired to share with the community. The educators showed us an act of selflessness that we will take with us on our journeys - we are so grateful for this wonderful farewell experience.”
Frederick said, and educators involved in the supper agreed, that the hope is Senior Supper will become an annual Gibbons tradition.