For seniors, the final days in May are an emotional time to look back on the last four years and reflect on the growth and changes that happened during their time at McNicholas. It may be hard to think about the awkward phases of freshman year or the trials and tribulations that many faced to make it to graduation day. Maybe high school wasn’t an amazing experience for some, or maybe high school was the best four years of others’ lives and they couldn’t have imagined anything better. Whatever the case may be, the experiences at McNick created memories that the seniors will forever hold in our hearts.
Elizabeth Granlund’s favorite memory of high school was the Light-Up McNick Event. “It was the first time that there were lights in Paradise and it was just a really exciting event and something that McNick has worked towards for a long time. It was a great time to be with friends and gather the whole McNick community together,” Granlund said.
Many of the members of the senior class, including Granlund show their spirit on the night of the “Light Up McNick” event in 2018. Granlund stated, “This was the year I really started to get into sports photography, so it was amazing to have such a fun event to photograph. Everyone was so excited to finally get lights in Paradise so there was a huge crowd of students, parents, and alumni that were all there to watch the game and cheer on McNick. It was the start of some awesome Friday night games and the celebration was just so fun and a great event to be a part of!”
Hadley Jerome agreed that one of his favorite memories of McNick was the Light Up McNick experience. Jerome said, “I feel that we truly came together as an entire school community and all together as one. Even though we lost, there was still so much spirit in the air and the vibe was amazing. It definitely was one of the best games I’ve attended.”
Aimee Gauger shared that one of her favorite moments of high school was always being the last group of people to leave for every single school dance. “It was just a fun way to close out the night and continue to celebrate with friends. It was also fun to have total control of the music,” Gauger said.
Johnathan Kaldmo explained that his favorite memory throughout his high school experience was the spring celebration at the Cincinnati Zoo. “It was a very great time to hang out with my buddies and friends, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Kaldmo said.
Brady Hopkins said his favorite memory was pitching at the Reds stadium sophomore year. “We won the game and got to represent McNick on a professional baseball field,” Hopkins stated.
Hopkins prepares to pitch to the Newport Central Catholic Team at Great American Ball Park during his sophomore year. “This event has probably been one of the best memories I could ever experience. It was one of my dreams to be able to play on (sic) a Major League Baseball stadium and be able to receive the ball from my coach and say ‘This is your game Brady’ and also getting the win for that game was a memorable moment in my life,” Hopkins added.
Samuel Fortin said that one of his favorite memories involved being in former McNicholas teacher Mr. Sergio Munda’s Spanish class sophomore year. “Sergio Munda, or as we would refer to him as, Young Munda, would simply infuse the students with positive energy and wisdom. On top of that, his many quirks and personality traits made him very funny and relatable,” Fortin said.
Wesley Richmond’s favorite memory also involves his sophomore year Spanish class taught by Munda. Richmond said, “Sophomore year was really influential in the person I am today, and these memories will stay with me until the day I die.”
Anna Eiser said, “One of my best memories at McNick was going to state to cheer on Charlie Taylor for cross country my junior year. I got to carpool with Marie Steinkuhl, Lauren Cox, and Olivia Rohling. The race was so much fun to watch and it was such a bonding experience for every single member on the team. That was truly one of the happiest days of my entire high school experience.”
Anna Eiser, along with her many teammates show their support for their teammate Charles Taylor during his cross country state meet. “Before we went to the meet, some of the girls and I met up at my house to make some signs spelling out his name. Then, Marie Steinkuhl drove us up to the meet and it was an absolute blast. When we got there we saw the boys had also gotten covered in McNick spirit decor, and invited us over for a picture. the day was such a bonding experience for everyone, and many tears were shared. Charlie did great and afterwards [and] we all ate pizza together,” Eiser said.
Olivia Rohling also described the same memory as Anna Eiser as one of her favorite memories throughout high school. “My junior year, myself, Marie Steinkuhl, Anna Eiser, and Lauren Cox all drove to the State Cross Country meet to support our fellow classmate, Charlie Taylor. The drive was a little long and so the whole drive there and back, we were singing along to the music and enjoying everyone’s presence before Marie graduated. A lot of the junior and senior girls on cross country that year were very close [Class of 2020 and 2021] and it was really bittersweet to be driving home at sunset with some of my favorite people, and enjoying one of the last high school events with Marie,” Rohling said.
Maggie Haap explained that one of her best memories from high school was this past year’s prom. Haap said, “All of the circumstances before prom and the restrictions due to COVID made prom so much more exciting and the decorations and location was beautiful. It was such an awesome night with my friends and the McNick community.”
Maggie Haap and Brady Horgan were elected to prom court. “We were on prom court and our parents got to come to support us and we were honored in front the parents and students! The king and queen were announced and the court started the dancing and then the rest of the school joined in,” Haap stated.
Kristen Van Huss described that one of her favorite memories of high school was being in the musical this past year. Huss said, “We had such a great group of students in the cast this year, and working with all of them was a lot of fun.”
Tiffany Ton said one of her favorite memories of high school involved Kairos. Ton stated, “I was able to get close with my friends and get closure with them and also got to talk to new people. I was hesitant about the experience at first, but near the end of the trip, I was sad it wasn’t longer.”
Lainey Doggett also stated that one of her favorite memories was going to Kairos and then later on leading a Kairos retreat this past year.
Doggett is masked up and smiling with the senior group leaders of K-126. “It reminded me how much love there is in our community and gave me a chance to really get to know those around me,” Doggett said.
From the first day of freshman year to the final days of our senior year, the seniors have created and lived through many moments to cherish. From Covid restrictions to making college decisions, the Class of 2021 has been much together, especially in the past year, and yet it is time to move on to new opportunities and experiences. Even though the seniors will be saying goodbye to high school, the memories of their experience at McNicholas will forever be a part of them. They can take the memories from high school and carry them to the next chapters of their lives. As many alumni have said, “Once a Rocket, always a Rocket!” Let the seniors cherish the best moments of high school and carry the memories with them forever.