My Air Academy Experience

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My friends and I pose for a picture after a fun night of hanging out! From left to right: juniors Abby Litchfield, Lizzy Dalton, Karis Bonzaaijer, Sequoia Harris, Meredith Clabaugh. Bottom left to right: juniors Joy Kemp and Jenna Gilbert.

Three years ago I walked into Air Academy scared out of my mind. I went to all of my classes, ate lunch in the courtyard for the first time, and made new friends that I would keep throughout my Air Academy years.

Now, it’s my junior year. I have gone through football games, class color days, finals, and a national pandemic. I can attest that high school –while difficult and sometimes boring–has been a fun ride.

This year I spent my school days online and have missed out on fun day-to-day happenings at Air Academy. Lunches with my friends have become short texts and conversations with my favorite teachers are had with short questions over the chat box in Microsoft Teams.

Next year I will be moving to a new school. This means that many of the senior traditions I have looked forward to are no longer in reach and I must say goodbye to a senior year filled with my classmates and friends.

Although I am looking forward to my new school I am sad to see all the wonderful things about Air Academy go.

Air Academy has some of the best teachers I know!  Staff go out of their way for students and have a genuine concern for each one! I will miss lunches in Mme Chabot’s room and fun journalism classes with Mrs. Anderson!

Graduate Aidan Chesmore, junior Bella Ryska and junior Lizzy Dalton pose for a picture while supposed to be working in Journalism.

This year has definitely been different than what I had imagined in past years. What was supposed to be my most challenging year in high school turned out to be easier and somehow harder than I expected. I am grateful for the resources AAHS provided to make it as easy as possible for students.

Virtual spirit week, Link Crew activities over Teams and other school events available online have been fun moments in the seemingly endless year.

Many seniors are also experiencing the nostalgia and bittersweet feelings I am.  However, instead of going to another high school, they are going to college, which I think is infinitely scarier. I am glad they are getting some senior traditions to make up for the hectic and stressful challenge of going to college in the middle of a national pandemic.

Although I spent my days wishing for the weekend or the precious breaks I am sad to be leaving. It has been exciting and I am so glad for all the times I have had at AAHS. I don’t know if I am excited or sad for the day I’ll go to all my classes, say goodbye to all my teachers, and eat lunch in the courtyard with all my friends for the last time.

Senior Josh Manyard described my feelings perfectly, “I never anticipated how transformative the high school experience would be. From eight theatre productions to singing on stages across the U.S., to the simple little memories of blasting David Bowie’s “Heroes” with windows down, I think of the all-but-true cliché, “the only constant change.” High school is change. When you start, you can’t possibly know where you’ll end up; but I know if you spend time with the people you love, search for opportunities, and let your talents shine, you’ll find that you are home.”

On the last day of Freshman year, my friends and I pose for a picture in tie-dye! From left to right: juniors Lizzy Dalton, Joy Kemp, Sequoia Harris, and Karis Boonzaaijer.