Junior Citizens: The Hallways of MFS Without the Class of 2016

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Moorestown Friends School seems to get awfully quiet this time of year.

“Quiet” is one word few people would use to describe the bustling high school, which thrums with focused, often chaotic, energy every day, from before the first bell rings in the morning to hours after the same bell brings the ‘official’ school day to a close. Even during the fourth quarter, when the scent of summer can distract even the most dedicated students, this energy does not abate — people are working hard, playing hard, and getting things done until the very end.

But very suddenly, one day, all of that energy reaches a loud, raucous crescendo, and then stops entirely. At first it is muted, and even when it comes back, it is mellowed. For the rest of the year, after that one joy-filled day, the hallways of MFS seem empty even when they are three-grades full. This year, that day was May 6: the day the senior class of 2016 left their classes behind and headed off on their Senior Projects.

While the senior class is doubtlessly off having their own adventures outside the MFS bubble — stay tuned for WordsWorth coverage of some of their coolest experiences — for those of us still here, their presence is still deeply felt. In many ways, the tone and feeling of every school year is set at the top; by the teachers for academics, maybe, but by the senior class for nearly everything else. As the 2016 school year sputters to the end, these halls are left with a gaping hole, empty of the graduating class that made this year their own.

The absence of the senior class is felt on every level of the high school. Mixed-grade classes have lost their senior classmates, making the rooms feel a lot larger with their absence. Junior Tyler Radack commented, “I miss the seniors [in Mr. Omilian’s AP Calculus class] because at one moment we can be talking about derivatives and the next moment, we’ll be talking about the best way to survive a zombie apocalypse.”

And outside the classroom, seniors had perhaps an even larger presence. The Class of 2016-2017 were leaders across a wide range of activities, from Jacob Schoifet as the President of Model U.N., to Skylar McClane as Clerk of Meeting For Worship For Business, to our very own Edward Gelernt as WordsWorth Editor-In-Chief.

While these vital roles are quickly being filled by rising seniors and juniors ready to step into leadership positions, there is no replacing the people who previously held them. Still, new student leaders are doing their best to live up to the example set by the departing seniors.

Sophomore Anna Goula, a newly chosen officer for the MFS Model U.N. delegation, explained, “[Model U.N. President Jacob] Schoifet is irreplaceable. He was a great officer, and I would definitely not be in the same place I am today in the club without him.”

While the senior class is sorely missed, their absence has also allowed a new grade to step into their place in the limelight. The class of 2017, currently juniors, are now the big kids on the block.

Although the juniors miss their senior friends, the grade seems thrilled to take over the senior hallway, senior benches, and other senior privileges; the sense of excitement among the class of 2017 is palpable.

“Going uptown is nice,” said Junior Alyssa Klier. “I like the freedom in general, and Passariello’s salads don’t hurt.”

Still, even for the rising seniors already looking forward to the 2016-2017 school year, the Class of 2016 will never be forgotten. “Sitting on the senior benches still feels weird, and probably will for a while,” said Klier. “It makes me miss the seniors, and half-expect one to come around the corner yelling at me for sitting on their bench.”

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