Staff members at Riverbank High School have been getting creative to bring the senior class of 2021 some excitement as the traditional activities have not been possible due to the pandemic. The seniors were treated to a drive/walk through parade this past Friday in the student parking lot on campus.
This was the second event of its kind hosted by RHS staff where students drove through the parking lot and picked up a bag of goodies as staff cheered them on, many holding signs and dressed in a Disney theme.
Counselor Mark Hernandez, Leadership Teacher Raymond Perez, Education Specialist Melissa Werner, and Principal Greg Diaz collaborated to organize the event for the high school seniors as the end of the year is quickly approaching.
“A typical senior year is filled with fun events like dances, rallies, homecoming, spirit weeks, etc.,” explained Werner. “Unfortunately, our seniors did not have the opportunity to experience many of these events. We wanted to do something for our seniors to celebrate their upcoming graduation.”
Several staff members lined up at the Ray Fauria Gym to greet the seniors as they drove through the parking lot. There were 200 treat bags that were filled with snack, candy and a beverage. There were also five ‘Golden Tickets’ in random bags that students were given that they could redeem for gift cards.
“We decided on the Disney theme for this parade because our seniors did not have the opportunity to go to Disneyland for their Senior Trip, and we were trying to bring a little bit of Disney-magic to this celebration,” stated Werner. “I was a little disappointed with the lack of student participation in this parade. We saw more students at our first parade than this one ... not sure why.”
The students that did participate had smiles on their faces as they pulled up with each student in the vehicle receiving a goodie bag. Although the hour long festivities had only a trickle of vehicles roll through, the excitement was felt as teachers and staff had high spirits.
“I do think the RHS staff’s enthusiasm, spirit, and dedication to our seniors shined at both parades,” noted Werner. “I also really enjoyed seeing the appreciation on the faces of those students that were able to show up. I wish we could have done more. Given the pandemic and current regulations, there is only so much we can safely do for our students.”
This is the first school year that Werner has been at RHS and she is delighted to have the students back at school for in-person instruction even if it is for only half the day. Previously, she was the Special Education teacher and Leadership advisor at Cardozo Middle School.
“This has proven to be difficult given the pandemic,” expressed Werner. “I am hopeful for a better 2021-2022 school year. I am so proud to be a Bruin and a part of the RHS Family.”