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The Colony High School Senior Voices

Hear from our Seniors!

Senior Voices

With school buildings and facilities forced to close due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, we asked some seniors to share their thoughts and opinions on their senior year. 


Gwyndolyn Balogh

Band, National Honor Society, Interact Club (Secretary)

What do you enjoy most about being a part of your group, club or team?

In all my groups, I found that I loved getting to spend time with those around me. While participating in community service activities, as well as band competitions and school events, I was able to spend time with my friends and enjoy myself.

The end of your final semester of high school has been unique, to say the least. How do you hope you and your classmates have grown, or will grow from this experience?

I hope that by the end, we will have become much more aware of how lucky we are to have such a supportive community. Through this tough time, our community has been so supportive in trying to encourage us to stay motivated and happy during our quarantine. It’s not always something we are thinking about, but we are so lucky to have a community that is so supportive. I hope we will have learned to appreciate how much they do for us. 

What is your favorite memory from your senior year and what will you always remember about high school?

My favorite memory from my senior year was the homecoming game. Although I’m in band and have been to every football game that’s happened in my last four years, I am not normally super into football. But, I remember dancing and cheering with my friends in the stands. There was a lot of energy and we had a great time.

What are some of the ways you have seen your classmates, staff and/or community rise to the occasion during this worldwide pandemic?

Since the pandemic started I have watched those around me struggle due to unemployment, lack of masks, as well as lack of motivation. I have also watched the people in our community band together in making masks for those who need them, donating goods to those who are unable to get them on their own, as well as begin projects meant to motivate the students, children and workers around them (one example being happy birthday car parades in neighborhoods for kids who can’t have parties). Everyone in our community has been working to make this pandemic slightly better for those around them.

What teacher or staff member impacted you the most throughout your school years?

The teacher who impacted me most through my years in high school is Mrs. Mosely. I have had her as my teacher for IPC and chemistry. I also worked for her as a student assistant. Throughout my four years, she has been my most trusted teacher and has always encouraged me to keep working hard and given me resources to help me succeed in any classes I struggled in. She has been very supportive and encouraging when we discussed my future plans. She has also helped guide me through the difficulties of high school, as well as prepare myself for college. I’m very grateful for all of her encouragement and advice over the years!

In the years to come, how do you hope history remembers the Class of 2020 and how you and your classmates reacted to this tough last semester?

I hope the Class of 2020 is remembered for our ability to continue achieving our goals and getting ready for our future despite the sadness in losing time with our dearest friends and teachers.


Joseph Bauerly

Band

What do you enjoy most about being a part of your group, club or team?

I enjoy the friendship that comes out of band. Most of my friends are in band and we get to spend a lot of time together.

The end of your final semester of high school has been unique, to say the least. How do you hope you and your classmates have grown, or will grow from this experience?

I took the time at home to release my first jazz album. Right now has been the perfect time to spend countless hours practicing.

What is your favorite memory from your senior year and what will you always remember about high school?

I will always remember how we didn't end up coming back to school after spring break; everyone stayed home.

What teacher or staff member impacted you the most throughout your school years?

Levi Sterling

In the years to come, how do you hope history remembers the Class of 2020 and how you and your classmates reacted to this tough last semester?

I hope that in many, many years that a meme about the coronavirus ends up in a history textbook to help demonstrate the social state of the United States during the pandemic.


Nazhir De'Jean Carter

Marching Band, Track & Field Team   

What do you enjoy most about being a part of your group, club or team?

Being a proud member of the marching band & a teammate representing the best high school: TCHS.

The end of your final semester of high school has been unique, to say the least. How do you hope you and your classmates have grown, or will grow from this experience?

I have learned to not take anything for granted in life, especially our day-to-day life. When we left school on Friday, March 13, I never would have imagined that I would not ever see my school, friends, teachers or coaches again. No one could have ever told me that my senior year would end like this.

What is your favorite memory from your senior year and what will you always remember about high school?

My favorite memory was my last track meet on March 5. Our relay team won first place at our TCHS home meet. I also did my prom-posal to my friend and track mate, "Shay." 

What are some of the ways you have seen your classmates, staff and/or community rise to the occasion during this worldwide pandemic?

During this pandemic, I have seen many of my classmates and my assistant principal, Mrs. Surgeson at Kroger. I am currently an essential worker at Kroger, so I'm happy that I get to see some familiar faces day-to-day.

What teacher or staff member impacted you the most throughout your school years?

Ms. Bakke is the teacher that impacted me the most because she taught me how to stay calm, remain focused and always have fun no matter what is going on around you. She taught me the real meaning of what is meant to not stress out, breathe and everything would be fine. Take each day one day at a time, and commit to do your best!

In the years to come, how do you hope history remembers the Class of 2020 and how you and your classmates reacted to this tough last semester?

I hope history remembers the Class of 2020 as “Warriors.” We didn't lose the battle, we learned how to remain strong through it. By being positive and staying committed to our dreams, COVID-19 didn't destroy the Class of 2020, it just deferred our plans.


Douglas Gates

Managers, Film

What do you enjoy most about being a part of your group, club or team?

Helping out others. 

The end of your final semester of high school has been unique, to say the least. How do you hope you and your classmates have grown, or will grow from this experience?

To be able to be more independent and responsible with their time.

What is your favorite memory from your senior year and what will you always remember about high school?

Hanging out with friends on the field. 

What are some of the ways you have seen your classmates, staff and/or community rise to the occasion during this worldwide pandemic?

Being more helpful and to reach out to others to see if they’re okay. 

What teacher or staff member impacted you the most throughout your school years?

Coach Pualatie

In the years to come, how do you hope history remembers the Class of 2020 and how you and your classmates reacted to this tough last semester?

How to overcome a worldwide pandemic. 


Nissy Luke

NHS, NAHS, SNHS, HOSA, FMP, Interact Club, SNHS (Secretary)

What do you enjoy most about being a part of your group, club or team?

I enjoy spending time with my group outside of studies and socializing to create an atmosphere of fun for everyone. In all my clubs, our main goal is to help society and our community however we can. Whether it’s through cleaning up, making a fish tank or volunteering outside; it’s always a fun journey with everyone.

The end of your final semester of high school has been unique, to say the least. How do you hope you and your classmates have grown, or will grow from this experience?

I hope our class learns that nothing is completely in our hands. There are going to be times when we can’t predict or change what happens, like this quarantine, but what we can do is make the most of it with what we have. All the memories we made while at school and virtually will stay deep in all our hearts.

What is your favorite memory from your senior year and what will you always remember about high school?

My favorite memory of senior year is homecoming. I’ll also always remember the different teachers at our school. The Colony had a lot of teachers that were full of love and support; people that always had our backs and truly cared for us. It was truly an atmosphere where a lot of learning was able to happen.

What are some of the ways you have seen your classmates, staff and/or community rise to the occasion during this worldwide pandemic?

A lot of the staff has taken their time to put together a video for the seniors, they even cheered us on at our cap and gown pickup. They have made the most out of the situation and shown us how much they care about us through their actions.

What teacher or staff member impacted you the most throughout your school years?

A few teachers that really impacted me throughout my high school years are Coach York (9th grade), Mr. Hoang (10th grade), Mr. Robarge (11th grade) and Mr. Goff (12th grade). All these teachers have put their heart and soul into teaching everyone and have helped make me the person I am today.

In the years to come, how do you hope history remembers the Class of 2020 and how you and your classmates reacted to this tough last semester?

I hope history remembers the Class of 2020 as a happy class. One who never failed to smile no matter how hard it got. Compared to all the other classes, we’ve had a lot taken away from us in our senior year. Regardless of all that, we will all still continue to smile and persevere through everything that comes our way because we are the Class of 2020.


Miles Mcmillian

Football

What do you enjoy most about being a part of your group, club or team?

It was a lot of fun. We had to work together to win some very tough games. Even in the games we lost, we knew that we were better and we came out harder the next week. I really enjoyed the group of guys that we played with this year because they gave me a lot of emotion and a lot of football knowledge.

The end of your final semester of high school has been unique, to say the least. How do you hope you and your classmates have grown, or will grow from this experience?

I hope that we learn to be cleaner and how to prevent viruses. It’s pretty scary because obviously it has ruined a good bit of senior year.

What is your favorite memory from your senior year and what will you always remember about high school?

Football.

What are some of the ways you have seen your classmates, staff and/or community rise to the occasion during this worldwide pandemic?

FaceTime and social media. 

What teacher or staff member impacted you the most throughout your school years?

Rudy Rangel


Hannah Middleton

Band (Head Drum Major, Band President)

What do you enjoy most about being a part of your group, club or team?

My favorite part about being in a band is performing. It's very rewarding to see what we've worked for during rehearsals. It's also exciting to see the final pieces of our music/shows come together to create something great. 

The end of your final semester of high school has been unique, to say the least. How do you hope you and your classmates have grown, or will grow from this experience?

I hope that all of us will take this opportunity to grow in our ability to persevere and overcome obstacles throughout the rest of our lives. This experience has shown us that we can and will be able to get through anything. 

What is your favorite memory from your senior year and what will you always remember about high school?

Being part of the band is something I will remember the rest of my life. I have experienced and have grown so much as a person because of it. My favorite memory from senior year is senior night. 

What are some of the ways you have seen your classmates, staff and/or community rise to the occasion during this worldwide pandemic?

Everyone has come together to help others. Teachers have been available for students to reach out and students have been helping other students.

What teacher or staff member impacted you the most throughout your school years?

Many teachers have positively impacted my life, but the one that impacted me the most was Ms. Turner. I took her astronomy class my junior year and ultimately she led me to deciding my college major: Aerospace Engineering.

In the years to come, how do you hope history remembers the Class of 2020 and how you and your classmates reacted to this tough last semester?

I hope that others will see us as a unique group of individuals that missed out on once-in-a-lifetime experiences, but were able to push through and grow as individuals because of it. The Class of 2020 was impacted a lot because of our current circumstances and hopefully we will use the knowledge gained from this experience for the rest of our lives.


Hanh Nguyen

What do you enjoy most about being a part of your group, club or team?

Knowing what school we want to go to and having the job we want to do.

The end of your final semester of high school has been unique, to say the least. How do you hope you and your classmates have grown, or will grow from this experience?

Being an office aid and helping Mrs. Dana. 

What is your favorite memory from your senior year and what will you always remember about high school?

Making the classes more fun and helping us know what we want to do in the future. 

What teacher or staff member impacted you the most throughout your school years?

Mrs. Dana and Mr. Robarge.

In the years to come, how do you hope history remembers the Class of 2020 and how you and your classmates reacted to this tough last semester?

Please remember us as the greatest senior class. Although it was a tough last semester, we were enjoying our time during this senior year. 


Brinkley Alise Oropeza

Theatre at The Colony (3x Officer) 

What do you enjoy most about being a part of your group, club or team?

We are a family. We love like family and we fight like family. We won the state championship my freshman year and it was the most amazing experience. The love that we have for each other is amazing. I’m going to miss my theatre nerds.

The end of your final semester of high school has been unique, to say the least. How do you hope you and your classmates have grown, or will grow from this experience?

I have learned to take nothing for granted. You never know how things will end. Enjoy the little things. Tell someone you like their shoes. Give someone a hug (not now, because of social distancing). Take in every moment, because you just never know.

What is your favorite memory from your senior year and what will you always remember about high school?

This year I tried to get more involved. I went to the football games and cheered loud at the pep rallies. It was amazing. I laughed louder and loved harder. That’s what makes it so special. We didn’t know senior year would end like this, but I feel at peace because I did everything right. I made new friends and told people how I felt. There was no holding back.

What are some of the ways you have seen your classmates, staff and/or community rise to the occasion during this worldwide pandemic?

There is a facebook page called “Adopt a Senior.” Basically, parents are writing about their kid and posting pictures and then people from the community are “adopting” us. It’s so cool. They bring us gifts and show their support. I want this to continue for other classes.

What teacher or staff member impacted you the most throughout your school years?

Dwayne and Ronda Craig. They are the directors at TCHS and wow, they have forever changed my life. Believe it or not, theatre is hard. However, they always made it fun. I’m pursuing musical theatre in college and there is NO WAY I would be doing that if it wasn’t for all their love and support. 

In the years to come, how do you hope history remembers the Class of 2020 and how you and your classmates reacted to this tough last semester?

How we all came together. Not even just people from TCHS or LISD, but seniors from all around the country. It sounds crazy, but through social media we all got to connect with each other. It’s something I hope people will remember. 


Lydia Reynolds

Band

What do you enjoy most about being a part of your group, club or team?

The friends I’ve made, memories and the unforgettable life experiences.

The end of your final semester of high school has been unique, to say the least. How do you hope you and your classmates have grown, or will grow from this experience?

I hope that the class of 2020 has been humbled by this experience and grows in understanding and empathy with others.

What is your favorite memory from your senior year and what will you always remember about high school?

My favorite memory is being able to see many sunsets and sunrises because of band. I will never forget the friends I’ve made and the teachers that have touched my life. 

What are some of the ways you have seen your classmates, staff and/or community rise to the occasion during this worldwide pandemic?

I have seen restaurants offer food to free or reduced lunch kids. I’ve also seen TCHS adapt to different investments and make every senior feel special.

What teacher or staff member impacted you the most throughout your school years?

My band director, Mr. Larkin, definitely impacted me. I’ve spent so many hours, day and night, on the practice field with him. 

In the years to come, how do you hope history remembers the Class of 2020 and how you and your classmates reacted to this tough last semester?

I hope that people see tradition is not always the best option. Every class is different and has it’s uniqueness. I hope the students of 2020 come to know the small joys of life and elevate their lives.


Kaitlin de la Rosa

Theatre (Community Outreach Officer), Choir (Officer), Interact (President), NHS

What do you enjoy most about being a part of your group, club or team?

I’ve been with the Craig’s since 6th grade and I couldn’t have asked for a better set of directors to spend these past seven years with. Theatre has been a welcome distraction to all the troubles I have faced in my life, which is how we've come to joke about theatre being “therapy." We all support one another and help each other get through whatever obstacles we are facing. That’s what I love about Theatre. I love that we’re all a family who loves and supports one another.

The end of your final semester of high school has been unique, to say the least. How do you hope you and your classmates have grown, or will grow from this experience?

This past semester has definitely been a once-in-a-lifetime experience that we won’t soon forget, but theatre has helped get me through it. The theatre community has grown as a whole throughout this pandemic by outpouring support for essential workers, as well as the people simply tasked with staying home. Theatre at The Colony has grown by collectively overcoming the grief of not being able to perform our One Act Play and supporting others who have lost similar opportunities.

What is your favorite memory from your senior year and what will you always remember about high school?

My favorite memory from my senior year comes from Theatre at The Colony’s class production of Chicago the Musical. Before every show we have circle time. It is a time where the entire cast gathers in a circle one hour before the show begins and the directors, as well as all of the seniors, give speeches and wish everyone luck. After circle time, all the seniors huddle together scream our senior chant and do a dance around the Craigs. The final night of Chicago during our senior huddle we all held each other and cried because the reality of this being our first last show of senior year hit all of us. We were mourning the loss of these experiences with one another. That was such a beautiful moment to me and I will cherish it forever.

What are some of the ways you have seen your classmates, staff and/or community rise to the occasion during this worldwide pandemic?

Theatre at the Colony has done so much during this pandemic to support not only its students, but the community as well. Several members of TATC have made videos for the Life Skills students outlining the do’s and don’ts of social distancing. We have reached out to the families of essential workers and thanked them for all they are doing during this pandemic, as well as the families affected by job loss.

What teacher or staff member impacted you the most throughout your school years?

I had Mr. Robarge for Pre-Cal my junior year and he has remained one of my favorite teachers ever since then. The dedication he has towards making sure all of his students not only succeed in passing his class, but also thoroughly understand the material they are being taught is exponential (ha, math pun). Mr. Robarge has such a passion for what he teaches evident by the way he lights up when a student begins to understand what they are being taught. I won’t soon forget his class, because he was such an amazing teacher and kind person.

In the years to come, how do you hope history remembers the Class of 2020 and how you and your classmates reacted to this tough last semester?

I hope that we are remembered as the class that persevered through this pandemic, not only through our studies, but through our school spirit.


Alexa Smith

Tempo Choir, New Heights Jazz Choir, Theatre (Secretary)

What do you enjoy most about being a part of your group, club or team?

Both environments encourage creativity and diversity. We are allowed to be unique without fear of criticism or judgement. Most importantly, they make you feel at home.

The end of your final semester of high school has been unique, to say the least. How do you hope you and your classmates have grown, or will grow from this experience?

I think we will hold more value to the time we spend with loved ones. This experience has made us all realize what is truly important in life.

What is your favorite memory from your senior year and what will you always remember about high school?

My favorite memory would have to be walking out after every show and receiving compliments from the audience members. It's not so much that I like getting compliments, it definitely helps, but it's about the fact that someone went out of their way to make me feel appreciated. That's what I'll always remember.

What are some of the ways you have seen your classmates, staff and/or community rise to the occasion during this worldwide pandemic?

The biggest thing I've noticed is that everyone is willing to help one another. There is no one sitting around saying "every person for himself." We have finally become a community.

What teacher or staff member impacted you the most throughout your school years?

I'd have to say the Craigs have been my biggest supporters. Even though we were never that close until this year, they never gave up on me and taught me everything I needed to know about show business and about being an individual.

In the years to come, how do you hope history remembers the Class of 2020 and how you and your classmates reacted to this tough last semester?

I hope we are remembered as stubborn. We refuse to cave in when society tells us to and we refuse to give up when hope seems lost.


Addison Ross Stolfi

E-sports

What do you enjoy most about being a part of your group, club or team?

What I enjoy about being in the E-sports club is being with friends and playing games.

The end of your final semester of high school has been unique, to say the least. How do you hope you and your classmates have grown, or will grow from this experience?

I hope people learn how to stay productive even while away from everyone else, or at the very least not to be bored.

What is your favorite memory from your senior year and what will you always remember about high school?

I can not think of one particular memory, but I suppose what I will remember most about this year is the COVID-19 quarantine.

What teacher or staff member impacted you the most throughout your school years?

That would be my band director, Mr. Larkin, because I have had him all of my high school years and I spent a lot of time going to band rehearsals and performances.

In the years to come, how do you hope history remembers the Class of 2020 and how you and your classmates reacted to this tough last semester?

I don't know what would be remembered about our class other than it happened during the COVID-19 pandemic, so it was not easy. 


Luis Valle

Band (Trombone Section Leader)

What do you enjoy most about being a part of your group, club or team?

I enjoyed being around the positive environment. 

The end of your final semester of high school has been unique, to say the least. How do you hope you and your classmates have grown, or will grow from this experience?

I feel like this pandemic has prepared us for the "Real World," whether it was by learning or working.

What is your favorite memory from your senior year and what will you always remember about high school?

My favorite memory from my senior year would be when the football games started. Enjoy high school, because it's probably going to be the best moments you'll have in your life.

What are some of the ways you have seen your classmates, staff and/or community rise to the occasion during this worldwide pandemic?

Keep your head up. Things happen for a reason, but everything balances back to the way they were.

What teacher or staff member impacted you the most throughout your school years?

Ms. Easley helped me grow up as a person throughout high school. I just want to thank her for all she has done for me.

In the years to come, how do you hope history remembers the Class of 2020 and how you and your classmates reacted to this tough last semester?

Strong and courageous. It was hard to grasp the situation at first, but overall we overcame the obstacles of this pandemic and came out stronger than ever


Stephen Wallak

Varsity Football 

What do you enjoy most about being a part of your group, club or team?

What I enjoy the most about being a part of my team was the energy and the brotherhood we created together. I created some friendships on that field that will last forever. Going to practice every day after school, music playing, the energy all the way up; those were some of the memories I created. But, on a Friday night, a bunch of people in the crowd all cheering and a big play being made and being a part of it; those are the memories that will stay with me forever. 

The end of your final semester of high school has been unique, to say the least. How do you hope you and your classmates have grown, or will grow from this experience?

I hope that we can grow from this time in our lives knowing not to take anything for granted. Because just as fast as you can have fun, you can lose it all at the same time. So, we need to learn to cherish the moments that we have, because they’re all not gonna last forever. 

What is your favorite memory from your senior year and what will you always remember about high school?

My favorite memories from my senior year would have to be Friday night football. The morning breakfast, the day at school, playing with the energy at 100 percent and everyone in the stadium being into it. Also, going out somewhere to eat after a win with all your friends and girlfriend are some of my favorite memories that were made.

What are some of the ways you have seen your classmates, staff and/or community rise to the occasion during this worldwide pandemic?

I’ve seen the community really come together in this time. We as classmates helping each other the best we can to succeed in online classes. Teachers trying to make the best out of what they have access to and trying to make it easier for us to learn. Parents and other people trying to do special things for seniors. It’s good to see all the positives during this time. 

What teacher or staff member impacted you the most throughout your school years?

The teacher that really impacted me was Mr. Harbert and Mr. Quarles. These are two of my favorite teachers and I could always have a good conversation, as well as learn the best I could with them. They made it fun and easy to comprehend things in the classrooms, as well bring a good energy to the classroom. They taught me about real life, too, and most teachers don’t do that.

In the years to come, how do you hope history remembers the Class of 2020 and how you and your classmates reacted to this tough last semester?

I hope history remembers us as the class that was the best class. I mean, because it’s true. 


Julia Whisonant

Model UN, National Honor Society (President)

What do you enjoy most about being a part of your group, club or team?

I enjoy being able to make a difference in my school through student-led organizations.

The end of your final semester of high school has been unique, to say the least. How do you hope you and your classmates have grown, or will grow from this experience?

I hope that they will learn to appreciate the little things such as saying, “Hello,” to their teachers or walking to their next class with their friends.

What is your favorite memory from your senior year and what will you always remember about high school?

My favorite memory is after football games going out with friends for food afterwards.

What are some of the ways you have seen your classmates, staff and/or community rise to the occasion during this worldwide pandemic?

My teachers making sure that in any way possible their students have the best education they can get.

What teacher or staff member impacted you the most throughout your school years?

Ms. Deluna

In the years to come, how do you hope history remembers the Class of 2020 and how you and your classmates reacted to this tough last semester?

I hope that people remember that we are united and all have the same goal, which is to finish high school strong.


Zachary Sean Wright

National Honor Society

What do you enjoy most about being a part of your group, club or team?

Friends.

The end of your final semester of high school has been unique, to say the least. How do you hope you and your classmates have grown, or will grow from this experience?

Independent growth.

What is your favorite memory from your senior year and what will you always remember about high school?

Friends.

What are some of the ways you have seen your classmates, staff and/or community rise to the occasion during this worldwide pandemic?

Moral Support.

What teacher or staff member impacted you the most throughout your school years?

Specifically my freshman and sophomore Percussion Director.

In the years to come, how do you hope history remembers the Class of 2020 and how you and your classmates reacted to this tough last semester?

A creative bunch.


See more from the Class of 2020 by visiting the LISD Senior Spotlights.