Turning the tassels: Hickman

At Hickman, graduating seniors cheer, laugh at memories
Friday, June 1, 2007 | 12:07 a.m. CDT; updated 7:07 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

Saturday’s graduation ceremony marks the end of an era for Hickman High School’s graduating seniors.

“It’s kind of surreal,” senior Caleb McMurry said, “It doesn’t feel like it’s really ending.”


More than 550 students will graduate from Hickman High School at 2 p.m. Saturday at Mizzou Arena. The ceremony will feature three student speakers, and honored guests will include alumni and teachers selected by the students.

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This week, a series of dinners, banquets, parties and awards ceremonies will commemorate the end of one era and celebrate the beginning of a new one.

On Thursday, students entered the gymnasium at Hickman High School for the Class of 2007’s last student assembly. Juniors and seniors filled the bleachers and basketball court for their annual “Memories” assembly, an event highly anticipated by Hickman students and faculty. Amid the rush of the graduation season, the assembly offered graduates the chance to relax, laugh and cheer one last time in Hickman High’s gymnasium.

The Hickman Jazz Band played loudly over the din of excited conversation, going nearly unnoticed by a gymnasium full of students eager to get yearbooks signed and watch the assembly. Once in motion, Hickman Principal Mike Jeffers honored seven retiring teachers, announced next year’s class officers and recognized six outstanding students who had distinguished themselves in academics, athletics and the arts.

The students erupted in applause as the lights dimmed for the culminating feature of the assembly: the senior slide show.

Music spanning the Class of 2007’s time in grade school to the last year of high school accompanied a montage of photographs and video of Hickman’s graduating seniors. The slide show, which was edited and produced by seniors Aly Monroe and Maddi Holman, featured photographs gathered from parents, teachers and the students.

The show chronicled everything from Hickman’s Final Four boys’ basketball team to the recent prom night, prompting sporadic laughter and cheers from the students. The slide show made many students feel sentimental. Holman couldn’t help but feel sad.

“We’ve seen it so many times, and it still makes us cry,” she said.

Jeffers sees graduation season to be a “kind of melancholy, but kind of happy time” for his graduates. He said he and his staff will miss a class that he said is exemplary of the excellence Hickman’s faculty tries to instill in their students.

“This class is definitely one of our benchmark classes,” said Jeffers, citing the school’s 12 National Merit Scholar semifinalists and its state wrestling champion, K.C. Pescaglia, as a few accomplishments of the Class of 2007.

“We will miss them. It’s been fun watching them grow,” Jeffers said of the seniors. “I hope they can get out there and find what makes them happy and stick with it.”

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