WHS seniors reflect on high school experience

Though their year was cut short, seniors had plenty of good memories to reflect on.

Washington High School senior Katie Donnolly reflected on her last four years of high school by acknowledging the many activities she was involved in. (Submitted photo)
Washington High School senior Katie Donnolly reflected on her last four years of high school by acknowledging the many activities she was involved in. (Submitted photo)

WASHINGTON — High school seniors have had their year cut short due to a global pandemic, but many memories remain from the last four years altogether.

Katie Donnolly said looking back on her first day at Washington High School (WHS) she was apprehensive because she did not know what to expect. Her older siblings told her it would be fun and had a lot of fun memories and experiences to quote, but Donnolly was not so sure.

“I was a little bit anxious and nervous because I didn’t know what high school was really going to be like,” she said.

Fellow senior Luke Turner had the same apprehension but luckily had an older sister in the school who could calm down his anxieties and answer questions, he said.

Senior Macy Driscoll had the opposite reaction.

“I was just excited for all the new experiences and all the new teachers and getting to know everybody,” she said. “I don’t think I was that anxious because I had a lot of older friends I knew what it was going to be like and I was pretty excited.”

However, once the days began for Donnolly, she found her niche.

“I really enjoyed all my math classes because I just loved it ever since I was growing up,” she said.

English classes were not her favorite, she said, but with the help of friends they became tolerable. Spanish class, however was something she enjoyed but history class with Mr. Caulk was a personal favorite.

Donnolly credits him as the teacher who inspired her the most throughout school for his innovation and ability to make school engaging and by showing movies that focused on the eras of history being discussed.

“He made learning about history fun with all of his games and interactive slides,” she said.

Driscoll said history class was also her favorite and credits Mr. Caulk, whom the students call Captain, as being someone who made a large impact on her educational career.

“He just made class fun and always made me interested in the topic,” she said. “With the way he ran class, he made sure it was always interesting and everyone had something fun to do.”

Turner agreed that history class was fun and engaging with Caulk at the helm, but said he also turned to Coach Nathan Matthes often for advice.

“He’s always open to have us come into his classroom and he’s very invested in all his students,” he said.

Outside of the classroom, both Donnolly and Driscoll have been involved in may activities. For Donnolly, that varies from varsity bowling to National Honors Society, peer helpers and Business Professionals of America. For Driscoll, volleyball, basketball, golf and girls basketball kept her busy.

Turner also kept busy with baseball, basketball, football, track, Christian athletes, Business Professionals of America, National Honor’s Society and student congress.

Getting involved in activities is important, both agreed, but Donnolly said her best advice to new freshman is to work hard.

“Don’t procrastinate on your homework like I did because it piles up and it gets very overwhelming. Just remember your teachers are your friends and they are there to help so ask questions whenever you need to,” she said. “It might be scary but once you get the hang of it things become really fun.”

Turner agreed, adding the years go by fast and incoming freshman should take advantage of every minute. Driscoll echoed that sentiment as well.

“I would just say to enjoy every moment and make sure you try to make high school fun because it goes by fast,” she said.