Shining a Spotlight on the Class of 2024 Ring Ceremony

Kara Warren, Clubs Editor

   Within an hour, the River of Grass auditorium, already filled to the brim with students and their loved ones, bursts into applause, cheers, and camera flashes. Why? To commemorate the beginning of the Class of 2024’s chapter a s official upperclassmen. While hundreds of juniors walked the stage to receive their ring, each one had its own design to represent the student. Regardless of what each ring illustrates, it would serve as a symbol of the memories the students have and will continue to make during their high school experience to keep forever.

   At the start of this year’s Ring Ceremony, the Class of 2024 Student Council members had been seated beside each other, finally carrying out the event they’d planned for weeks. With the spotlight capturing every move and Principal Bayer beside them, the pressure flooded across the entire stage to get everything right. Junior class Parliamentarian, Camila Correa explained, “The event was pre-planned by Herff Jones because it’s their sponsored event, but as a Student Council officer we did have to meet with them many times to rehearse. But the event altogether was a huge success; it feels like the first time our class was able to come together to celebrate with one another. I’m thankful that we were able to do it, and see so many loved ones recognize our students.” 

   After speaking to the audience about the meaning behind this century-old tradition, Mr.Bayer felt a wave of pride wash over him. Watching the Ring Ceremony come together compelled him to marvel at the students who began their high school career facing computer screens, finally now transitioning to their roles as upperclassmen. The principal expressed, “It was nice to be back to our traditional format… seeing kids dressed up and their parents being able to see them. Our Ring Ceremony has always been the right-of-passage for another class to step up as student leaders for the school and I’m glad to see the Class of 2024 take on that role.”

  Since the Covid-19 pandemic took this ceremony away from previous classes, this moment meant more than it seemed for some. Junior Sofia Echemendia expressed,“I’ve always been close with my sister, who’s a PPCHS graduate of 2022, but she wasn’t able to have her own Ring Ceremony. Having her by my side as I was able to receive my own class ring meant a lot to the both of us, and I’m glad the event will continue for the next classes too!”

   While for others, like Mia Olmedo, the pandemic taught her to capture her school memories while these moments last. The junior mentioned, “We spent over a year in isolation, and my class was the one to begin high school online. It taught me to really appreciate the moments I get to share with my friends and classmates. This Ring Ceremony was just one of the few to bring us all together, take pictures, and meet each other’s families. And we got rings as a token for our memories together!” 

   Engraved into each ring is a piece of what each junior brings to the PPCHS—whether it be an organization, sports team, or simply their graduating class. But with each ring holds a memory: the ceremony that brought them all together. And as the night ended, every junior brought a ring home to hold as a reminder of their devotion to their school, their friends, and themselves.