S.O.A.R. Rally inspires seniors to “finish strong” during final semester (25 photos, video)


Lucas Wiltjer

ASB President Andre Sehati gives a toast to the senior class at Wednesday's Finish Strong rally. Credit: Natalie Smith/The Foothill Dragon Press
ASB President Andre Sehati gives a toast to the senior class at Wednesday’s Finish Strong rally. Credit: Natalie Smith/The Foothill Dragon Press

The S.O.A.R. Rally, a part of Finish Strong, was held during fourth period on Wednesday to celebrate not only students’ achievements, but to inspire the seniors to keep their grades up and, ultimately, to have some fun during their last semester of high school.

“The S.O.A.R. Rally is the Senior Only Academic Rally. It is the third quarter finish strong event because, although we have the ninety percent on Renaissance, it’s usually third quarter that kids start to hear from schools [colleges], their semester one grades are in and they put some stuff on the back burner,” ASB senior Stephen Mariani said. “This is our chance to motivate the seniors and keep the Finish Strong mentality alive in the class.”

The rally started with seniors being sorted into four seating groups based off blockbusters “The Hobbit,” “The Avengers,” “Lincoln” and “Skyfall.”

From there, art teacher Justin Frazier and English teacher Melanie “Captain” Lindsey took the stage as hosts, doling out rewards to students such a most improved and most inspirational. They also recast famous movie and television roles such as Edward Cullen of the “Twilight” series and Sheldon Cooper from “The Big Bang Theory” with students.

Using the seating groups as teams, competitive games were played with the seniors such as charades and “keep the ball up.” Finally, the Senior Focus Counsel gave toasts to their classmates and the seniors raised their glasses of sparkling cider.

A main purpose of the rally and the Finish Strong program is to ensure that seniors don’t let all their hard work slip away and fall victim to the classic “senioritis.” “Senioritis” is the so-called disease or disability many seniors claim to be inhibited by. In essence, it is a joke name for laziness that thwarts any attempt to do homework.

Lindsey, the senior class advisor, was feels that the annual rally is important for student morale and fending off “senioritis.”

“Seniors are all done, they feel like they’re done, they’re seriously unmotivated. As human beings we get like that, so this kind of rally is necessary to show them ‘look we see what you’re doing; we see how hard you’re trying; we’re seeing what you’re accomplishing and we want to celebrate that,’” Lindsey said.

Also announced at the rally were the four valedictorians and one salutatorian of the senior class. Salutatorian Anthony Balolong-Reyes and Valedictorians Hayley Abourezk-Pinkstone, Katie Elvin, and Emily Park all received recognition for their very hard work throughout high school. Balolong-Reyes earned a cumulative grade point average of a 4.88 and each valedictorian earned a 4.92 GPA.

Frazier, felt that the rally was not only necessary, but was indeed successful.

“It’s definitely inspiring for kids and think it has long term effects too, it works of a lot of levels, “ Frazier said.

Editor’s note: The article was updated at 4:18 p.m. on February 22 to recognize the valedictorians and salutatorian.

Credit: Natalie Smith/The Foothill Dragon Press

Credit: Emily Chacon & Bridget Parrino/The Foothill Dragon Press

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