Tag Archives: Webster Schroeder PTSA

Senior Luminary Walk honored the class of 2022

16 May

Last May, when we were still hip-deep in the pandemic, the Webster Thomas PTSA, Webster Schroeder PTSA and Webster Teachers’ Association (WTA) came up with a creative, socially-distanced way to celebrate out graduating seniors: the Senior Luminary Walk.

In a year when special events had to be canceled one after the other, the PTSAs and WTA wanted to do SOMETHING to make sure our seniors felt special and celebrated for their achievements. The Luminary Walk was perfect; a stroll along the one-mile long Chiyoda Trail behind the Webster Recreation Center, which volunteers had lined with white luminary bags, each one inscribed with a senior’s name and school. 

Organizers expected it to be a one-time event, replaced this year with more traditional end-of-year activities and celebrations. But the families who came last year had other ideas. Shortly after the event had concluded, families started asking the PTSA if there were plans to do it in 2022 for the next graduating class.

So the Senior Luminary Walk returned this year, even bigger and better than before.

Like in 2021, students and family members were greeted by the Webster Schroeder and Thomas mascots as they began their walk along the Chiyoda Trail, which almost completely encircles the Recreation Center property on Chiyoda Drive. Volunteers had placed luminary bags along the entire length of the trail, 580 in all (330 for Webster Thomas seniors, and 350 for Schroeder, including GOAL students). Twinkling lights strung along the bushes here and there made the scene even more spectacular as the sun set.

Enthusiastic teachers were stationed all along the path, cheering and congratulating the students as they passed. One family after another would pause periodically for photos, and sometimes the parents’ proud smiles were even bigger than the students’.

As the students returned to the Rec Center at the end of the walk, each was handed a lawn sign to display at their home — prompting even more proud-parent photos.

Many thanks to the volunteers who worked for hours Sunday afternoon placing the bags along the path and stringing the twinkly lights, who manned the tables, or who were just there to cheer on the students.

I think it was a pretty special night for the volunteers as well. Cathy Falbo, and 8th grade teacher at Spry Middle School, helped to hand out lawn signs with her son. She said,

I think it’s a nice opportunity for families to celebrate their seniors, a nice way for the community to come together. I feel like these special moments are important to celebrate and recognize and I think it’s important to bring the community together.

I’ve seen these kids grow, known them since kindergarten. It’s really special to see them come by. I’ve had some of them as students. For me, this is a really special opportunity to recognize them, congratulate them and greet them again after many years.  

What was especially neat about the evening is how it was really and truly a One Webster event. Webster Thomas and Schroeder PTSAs worked hand-in-hand since last fall to plan it. Both mascots were there, and Webster Schroeder Principal Paul Benz, Webster Thomas Principal Glenn Widor and GOAL Director Rebecca Saiff were on hand, passing out the lawn signs.

“That’s the nice thing about Schroeder and Thomas doing it together,” Webster Schroeder PTSA vice-chair Stacie Peters said. “A lot of families really truly enjoy that because a lot of people are friends, whether they are a Warrior or a Titan.”

Judging from the number of cars filling the Rec Center parking lot and overflowing onto the shoulders and parking lot across the street, this year’s Luminary Walk was as well received as last year’s. Families started arriving well before the scheduled 7:30 start and for almost two hours, the trail and Rec Center property were swarmed by thousands of happy students, parents, grandparents and friends.

I suspect that the Senior Luminary Walk will be back again next year.

Click here for a gallery of photos from the evening.

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(posted 5/16/2022)

Dessert trucks 

The Class of 2021 celebrated brilliantly

18 May

Pandemic shmandemic. The Webster Schroeder PTSA, Webster Thomas PTSA, and WTA are bound and determined to make this year’s senior class feel extra special. Saturday night they found a brilliant way to do that.

It was called the Senior Luminary Walk, held at the Webster Recreation Center. Seniors and their family members were invited to stroll along the one-mile long Chiyoda Trail behind the Rec Center, which volunteers had lined with white luminary bags, each one inscribed with a senior’s name and school. There were about 700 bags in total, one for each Schroeder, Thomas and GOAL senior, placed about six feet apart so they stretched the entire length of the trail.

The event began at 7:30 p.m., well before sunset, and the scene was prety impressive then. But after dark, the illuminated bags and twinky light strings lining the trail were especially spectacular.

For the entire 90-minute event, hundreds upon hundreds of students, parents, siblings, and grandparents streamed in, filling the Rec Center’s parking lot, even overflowing into the Xerox lot across the street. They strolled along the paved trail, pausing for photos when they came to their name. At the end, each senior was handed a lawn sign to display at their home — prompting even more proud-parent photos.

Almost 20 Schroeder and Thomas teachers were posted along the trail to act as guides and cheer for the seniors as they walked past.

I heard some very touching comments from parents and students alike as they walked along the trail. Moments like these have been few and far between in the last few years, so even something as simple as a paper bag with a little electric candle inside clearly meant a lot. There were lots of photos, lots of hugs, and lots of smiles.

It was a simple, yet meaningful way to celebrate each student in the class of 2021.

A thousand thanks to Schroeder PTSA chair Stacie Peters, Thomas PTSA chairs Denise Warren and Bridget Ziskind and their army of hard-working volunteers who filled all the bags and set them up in just a matter of three or four hours Saturday afternoon. Rest assured, your efforts were greatly appreciated by all.

Here’s a slideshow of some photos from the evening:

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A colorful way to celebrate our seniors

27 Mar

Our Webster Thomas and Webster Schroeder seniors this week were given a colorful surprise this week. Each one received a bag of Skittles with a note attached reading, “Hey Senior! There is a rainbow of possibilities in your future! Shine on!”

The recognition is part of an ongoing program designed by the Schroeder and Thomas PTSAs. Once a month through June, the PTSAs are surprising each senior with a fun gift or special event, planned for on or around the 21st of each month (in honor of 2021). The idea, wrote Webster Thomas PTSA representative Denise Warren, is “to show students that they are cared about so very much!”

Every 2021 graduate at Webster Thomas and Schroeder high schools, whether remote, hybrid, GOAL or other, is included. The program began in January, when each senior was presented with a small baggie of Hershey’s kisses, complete with an inspsirational message. You can read more about that special delivery in my blog here.

Judging from these photos from Ms. Castro’s and Mr. Hardy’s classes at Thomas, the effort was very well received.

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Seniors welcomed back to school in a “bright” way

22 Feb

Our Webster Schroeder and Webster Thomas high school seniors got a nice surprise this morning when they entered their buildings and saw each one of their names posted on the wall, near banners celebrating their bright futures.

The banners were created by Webster Thomas art teacher Todd Stahl, and hung by parent volunteers near the entrances of both schools. The students’ names were written individually on small squares of paper, along with the school’s logo, and plastered together into huge displays welcoming the seniors back to school after the February break.

Thanks to Stacie Peters for all these photos!

“We wanted to surprise the kids when they (got) back to school on Monday,” wrote Schroeder PTSA chair Stacie Peters. “We are hopeful this will be super exciting for all of them to see once they return, pretty cool to see all the names together!”

She added, “We are super thankful to Mr. Benz, Mr. Widor, and Mrs. Saiff for all their help and support in all that we are doing for the Class of 2021. We cannot thank Todd Stahl enough for his time in creating such a fun and unique banner for each school.”

Special thanks also to Webster Thomas teaching assistant Tara Nielander, who wrote all of the Thomas senior names.

The recognition is part of an ongoing program designed by the Schroeder and Thomas PTSAs. Once a month through June, the PTSAs are surprising each senior with a fun gift or special event, planned for on or around the 21st of each month (in honor of 2021). Every 2021 graduate at Webster Thomas and Schroeder high schools, whether remote, hybrid, GOAL or other, is included. The program began in January, when each senior was presented with a small baggie of Hershey’s kisses, complete with an inspsirational message. You can read more about that special delivery in my blog here.