A Towering Gift

By Norah Johnstone, Current Staff

This year the graduation committees of the West Bend East and West High Schools chose updating the tower stairwells and adding window decals as their gift to the school.

This project has been in the works since the beginning of the school year, and the decals were put up earlier this spring. The graduation committee has met throughout this year in order to bring this project together.

“First we brainstormed some ideas as a group, took some time to think about them,” said Emily Canales, an East senior and member of the graduation committee. “And then we voted at our next meeting. Me personally, I really liked the idea of redoing the stairwell because it added more of that East spirit and it was unique to our school.”

Every graduating class gives a gift to the school their senior year. In the past these projects have included contributions to the theater and rugs outside of the fieldhouse. The class of 2020 updated the cafeterias.

A few different ideas were considered for the grad gift this year, one of which included updates to the trophy cases around the school. It took time for the graduation committee to make their final decision. 

“I think around December we were brainstorming graduation gift ideas, and then in February it was officially decided we were going to buy decals for the staircase,” East senior Elise Marlett said. (Mr. Graf) sent us a couple design pictures which he then sent to a company to print us the giant stickers.” 

The timeline was something to be considered during this project, given that ideally the seniors would be able to see their finished gift. 

“We wanted to get it done before Easter, we wanted the senior class to enjoy them,” West principal Ralph Schlass said. “In the past senior graduation gifts are often completed after students have left.” 

This factor was important to everyone involved, especially since last year’s class of 2020 was not able to see the completed cafeterias due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The project is done, which is really exciting,” Canales said. “It was nice to be able to see the end result before we graduate. So I really appreciate that.”

This project both modernized the school and brought in school spirit, something that the graduation committee wanted most. 

“It adds culture and pride to our school,” East principal John Graf said. 

Photos by Norah Johnstone, Current Staff.

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