By Becky Pacetti – English IV Journalism teacher

Well, maybe not MY senior year; better yet, “My Year with SENIORS.”

This was my first year teaching a class of all seniors.  Thirty-one big, hulking boys crammed in Brother Rice’s Odelson Production Studio, which is already filled with computers, a broadcast desk, and large cabinets containing cameras, microphones and more computers.  It is a tech geek’s playground, and the perfect place for my students to create content for our various media platforms.

I was really excited to teach a new class this year, but I have to admit that the first week with these guys was a little daunting.  They were not only bigger, but also louder, more opinionated, and much funnier!  They had me laughing almost every day…and had me crying a few days, too.

I learned about their lives – their successes and failures, their likes and dislikes, and their diverse backgrounds that came together to create our publications – “The Standard” news webpage and “The Crusader” yearbook.

I’m pretty sure the boys learned from me, too; not just newswriting, AP Style, and photo layout, but how to write from your heart.  They learned to say something in a way that resonated with others, and hopefully, made their readers think.

This was the best part of my year with seniors – watching these boys grow as writers because of the reactions to their articles.  The comments online and in person helped them see that they had a voice that was heard by their readers.  From the insightful sport and political analysis pieces to the food, movie, and book reviews, readers were responding to their work; and if you read any of their poetry or looked at their artwork, you would know that they were excited to show their creativity to their audience.

“My little cherubs” finished the class last week, and they left me with some great memories.  I’d like to share some of those memories with you, in the form of stories they wrote about their senior year.  Many of their stories made me laugh, and some made me cry…in a good way.

Watch Brother Rice’s “The Standard” webpage for a story or two every day until these guys walk across the stage to get their diplomas next week. Their stories will touch your heart, as they tell you why being a Crusader is so special to all of us.