The student news site of West Chicago Community High School

Wildcat Chronicle

The student news site of West Chicago Community High School

Wildcat Chronicle

The student news site of West Chicago Community High School

Wildcat Chronicle

Seniors celebrate final day of high school

The Class of 2024 at West Chicago Community High School finished their last day of classes on May 8 with the annual paper drop and celebration on the football field.

The Class of 2024 started their high school careers on Zoom, with hybrid learning the year after. Those very seniors walked the halls for one last time on May 8 before saying farewell to what can only be called an unusual high school experience.

While many had final exams on Wednesday, the highlight of the day was certainly the paper drop (and early dismissal, just after the third period). Students began gathering on the balcony of Entrance B sometime around 10:15 a.m., depending on when they were dismissed from their class. As they walked over to the stairway, they pulled all of their papers from their folders and backpacks so they could toss them to the ground below.

Photo by Ja’Nyah Villa

Seniors lined the stairwell and balcony, awaiting the call to throw their papers onto the ground. Getting a “good” spot at the paper drop is a must, as the area can only accommodate so many people.

Photo by Ja’Nyah Villa

The paper drop used to utilize all stairwells, but at some point, certain areas were designated in order to consolidate the mess.

Photo by Aly Dusing

Underclassmen did not want to be left out of the action: they joined together in the Learning Resource Center (LRC) to watch the paper-throwing tradition commence. A few papers trickled down as some seniors were too excited to wait for the call to start.

“They threw the paper before I got there. Their teachers all let them out early, before my teacher did. I was pushing people and trying to throw my papers – I ended up throwing mine way after everyone else did. It was kind of sad,” senior Ava Koch said.

Photo by Ja’Nyah Villa

Despite an official start time of 10:26 a.m., some of the seniors got started early; once a few papers went over the railing, others were soon to follow.

“Typically, it happens after third hour, and the students normally wait until the two minute bell for the next hour. They should’ve counted a ‘1,2,3 throw,’ but it didn’t run as smoothly that way this year!” Pep Club adviser Elizabeth Mastroianni said.

Photo by Ja’Nyah Villa

The paper-dropping continued for just a few more minutes – students flung over homework assignments, essays, and notes.

“I’m feeling bittersweet, and it’s crazy because everyone’s crying, and I’m not crying,” senior Natalie Fernandez said.

Photo by Ja’Nyah Villa

A student throws an entire cardboard box worth of papers from her classes.

“It was a moment of relief and like a weight off my shoulders never having to see another homework paper that I didn’t do ever again,” senior Kylie Doyle said.

Photo by Ja’Nyah Villa

As senior Anna Pinkevich looks away in disbelief, senior Gabrielle Christman records the action from her phone, laughing as her peers get into the action.

Photo by Aly Dusing

In fact, it was surprising no phone was dropped considering the number of seniors who hoped to capture one of their final high school experiences at WEGO.

Photo by Aly Dusing

Despite his attempt to remain incognito, senior Owen Payton is spotted tossing his box of school supplies onto the ground.

Photo by Aly Dusing

When the seniors began throwing metal signs, recycling bins, and lifeguard tubes over the railing, Dr. Will Dwyer, principal at WCCHS declared the paper throw over and insisted the seniors exit the building.  Students, including now former reporters Fernando Calvillo-Morales and Oscar Munoz-Granados, went downstairs to say one last goodbye to one another.

Photo by Aly Dusing

A number of juniors examine the aftermath of the paper drop tradition in awe. Although it appeared to be a lot of paper, the janitors cleaned it up in 10 minutes. The janitors at WCCHS are well-aware of the tradition, and are prepared to clean up once it is over.

Photo by Aly Dusing

As the last papers fluttered to the group, Dwyer ushered the remaining seniors out the door.

While the paper drop does leave a considerable mess, it is considered a long-standing tradition.

“It fosters a sense of belonging among all the seniors, as it is something unique for our senior classes. I also think it creates memories for the seniors to carry with them as they move on to whatever is next for them, with these events being so different than the normal school day. It also provides them in a way with closure from high school. They made it to the last day, they can celebrate all they accomplished, they get to enjoy the sunrise bright and early with friends and staff and then they can toss their papers up in celebration that they made it to the last day of high school. I think it is all so special,” Mastroianni said.

Photo by Sami Moesch

After the seniors are permitted – or encouraged – to leave the campus, they were ushered onto the football field to play games and eat food before saying farewell to their classmates (until graduation, that is).

Photo by Aly Dusing

Students are given yard signs to honor the end of their high school experiences. These signs will decorate their yards for months to come.

Photo by Sami Moesch

Seniors Alan Munoz, Ethan Klich, and Carlos Allen receive signs for their achievement of finishing high school careers at WCCHS.

Photo by Aly Dusing

Senior Jake Sweeney departs around 11:30 a.m. from WEGO (seniors had a half day of school due to final exams) in his ISU shirt. The class of 2024 was asked to wear shirts depicting the colleges or trade schools they were attending.

“I was feeling nervous and sad because it’s such a big change going from high school to college, and I would not be in the same classroom with my friends anymore. I was also ecstatic that I completed high school. Congrats to the class of 2024,” Sweeney said.

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About the Contributors
Sami Moesch
Sami Moesch, Senior Reporter
Sami is a sophomore; this is her first year as a reporter for the Chronicle, and she joined because she wanted to try something new. When she is not busy reporting, Sami plays Varsity soccer in the spring at WEGO, and throughout the year with a local club team. When Sami is relaxing, she usually listens to Taylor Swift, but also tunes into other artists such as The Neighborhood, Gracie Abraham, Clairo, and Lana. She passes the time by watching two of her favorite shows “Gilmore Girls” and “Pretty Little Liars”. Her future is uncertain: Sami does not yet know what she wants to do as a career, but keeps her doors open for possibilities.
Ja’Nyah Villa
Ja’Nyah Villa, Senior Reporter
Ja'Nyah is a sophomore this year and in her first semester of Journalism production. She is very driven and dedicated to her schoolwork and extracurricular activities. Outside of Journalism, Ja'Nyah is an active member of Wego Drama and her hobbies include reading and listening to music. In the future, Nyah hopes to pursue a career in literary editing or journalism after college.
Aly Dusing
Aly Dusing, Reporter
Alyson (Aly) Dusing is a highly outgoing and engaging sophomore who enjoys listening to music and hanging out with friends. This is her first semester on the Wildcat Chronicle staff. Once she graduates high school, Aly plans to attend the University of South Carolina before ultimately pursuing her dream career as a criminal defense attorney.
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