I know I will never forget this class. They were my last class in the trailer and my first class in the new building. We spent first semester in the trailers and then moved into the new Tiny Town High together.
These were the kids who helped me pack up my trailer room. They volunteered to move things into the new building. (And they moved things in a ridiculously short amount of time! Perhaps because there was so little of value to move?) The OCD among them color coordinated the chairs in my classroom. (And strangely enough, now I can't stand for them to be out of order either. *Argh!)
We adjusted to having lockers and losing the incredibly heavy backpacks. Some didn't want to give up those backpacks. They couldn't imagine not having their whole day on their back. Back then, they were organized and prepared. And for the last two years without the backpacks, the kids are always without pencils or paper. (There is probably a lesson there.)
I remember this class just sitting there when the bell rang for class to end on that first day; we hadn't had bells for three years, and they weren't used to bells announcing their dismissal.
Just seeing them in the hall between classes was a new experience for all of us. I remember standing in sophomore hall and listening to them tell each other goodbye or asking for rides to athletic practices. I had forgotten exactly how isolated we had been in the trailers.
That spring, I watched them support a classmate who was diagnosed with an aggressive pediatric bone cancer. A lot of my boys shaved their heads when JV's hair fell out due to chemo. They bought him a laptop, so he could stay in touch with them during long hospital stays.
The Class of 2013 is quite adaptable. They bloom wherever they are planted. They volunteer cheerfully, and they can take any siutation and find the fun in it. Above all, they are unselfish and giving.
Where will these qualities take them? I don't really know, but I know that the majority of the graduates in the class of 2013 will make good neighbors and the kind of people our communities need. They made me proud when they were sophomores. I have a hunch they'll make me proud in the future, too.