August 24, 2015
6:50 a.m.- Freshmen appear, eager, nervous and excited. They countdown until the first bell of the morning marking their first official seconds of high school.
7:00 a.m.- Seniors begin their long anticipated reign strutting into school from the parking lot, sporting their senior shirts and other accessories to indicate their royal status.
7:05 a.m.- Here come the Juniors, peeling into the lot in a rush to snag the best parking spot before the traffic jam begins.
7:10 a.m.- Sophomores trickle in, still riding passenger seat in their parents’ cars, relieved simply to no longer be freshmen.
7:20 a.m.-The student body rushes into first period. And it’s official, the school year has begun.
Together, we march into Miami Palmetto Senior High School ready (or not) to begin a new year full of anticipation and an enormous amount of learning. With a new Principal, a new administration, and new teachers, MPSH is not the same school we left in June.
For the past ten weeks, us Panthers dispersed throughout the community, and indeed the world, enjoying our summer vacation on all corners of the Earth. However, as we swam away our days at the pool, on the beach or even with sharks in South Africa; as we camped in the woods, hiked mountains, ventured through the desert, worked to earn spending money or volunteered at our favorite charity, MPSH was occupied by the office clerks, custodial staff, our administration and even some students, all working tirelessly to prepare for the flood of new and returning students who inevitably arrived this morning.
As we spent the summer trying our best to ignore the imminent workload of the upcoming year, our Assistant Principal Ms. Victoria Dobbs became our Principal and a new Assistant Principal, Ms. Kristina Garcia joined the administration. Our counselors registered hundreds of new students to our school while the custodial staff spent their days ensuring that the facility would be ready to kick off a new year; waxed floors and all.
While 75% of us are seasoned veterans at waking up at 6:00 a.m. after staying up until all hours of the evening doing seemingly endless amounts of homework, the remaining quarter of us are brand new to the Palmetto family. Months of anticipation come to a head today for the incoming freshmen, ready to to begin what seems like a journey with no end in sight. The class of 2019 is, thus far, oblivious to the high school world, but its members are ready to find their place in; and their classrooms. Going from an 8:30 a.m. wake up and 10pm bedtime to a 6:00 a.m. and 1:00 a.m. bedtime, won’t be easy, but with their huge backpacks and freshly sharpened pencils, they will, as all those that came before them, make and take their place in MPSH history.
The freshman won’t be the only ones with a challenge this year, every student at MPSH has prepared for the year. Juniors have mentally prepared for a dreaded year of SATs, ACTs and APs, while the seniors have already taken their senior portraits and (hopefully) started their college application process. Meanwhile, the sophomores take one more step in the direction to upperclassman status, feeling a little wiser than they did three months ago.
After this first day of new teachers, new classrooms and new challenges, we come home with syllabi to sign, fresh notebooks to tear into and even homework to do; and this is only day one. From this day forward we look forward to the year ahead with each day bringing us closer to the sought after summer.
Walking into school on the freshly waxed floors, smelling the crisp mulch, noticing perfectly pruned trees, waving at all of the cheery teachers, us Panthers are prepared for a memorable year.