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West Orange Times & Observer Friday, May 20, 2022 1 month ago

The Crenshaw School: Teamwork makes the dream work

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The Class of 2022 has been held under the perfect storm of chaos and normality.

By Hunter Duke

The Class of 2022 has been held under the perfect storm of chaos and normality. Unlike other grades, which got to experience their freshman and sophomore years as they would have been years ago, while their senior year also grew to be mostly unhindered as they would have originally wished. Belonging to a generation that grew up during the rise of technology in the household, the Class of 2022 has a connection to the digital world that younger generations know so well alongside the more grounded reality of older generations. Being a median between generations in more ways than one, these students make it easy to recognize why they stand out so much among their peers. 

When looking at a group of seniors this year, it’s easy to see why they get along so well. They display a camaraderie that makes them able to work as one unit while pushing each other to be their best as individuals. Work is important to this class, but so are the personal connections between one another. Each student understands that to function best as a team, you must know your team members and get along well enough to truly understand the strengths of one another. They tackle problems by searching for multiple answers first and then choosing the one that fits the best for their team. Often, if one classmate is struggling, they will find others who have the same issues and group together to best solve the issue. There is never a sense that anyone in the Class of 2022 will be left behind; in the rare case that they are, there are always other options for them to pursue. 

As wonderful as they are, the Class of 2022 is far from flawless. Many students can be lazy and look for the easiest way out of an assignment. When they struggle together, they also tend to look for the easiest way out of the problem together. No one is perfect, and from flaws, new strengths are born. The admittance of these flaws is crucial to who these students are, as they bring honesty and willingness to learn to their studies. Without knowing one’s flaws, how can one follow the path to improvement? 

Everyone wishes for success, and the seniors of this year are no strangers to ambition. Whether they wish to run their own businesses, become artists, study at medical school or revolutionize the technology of the future, these students are always looking ahead. Certainly, they are all aware of the insane amount of work that any of the prospects they dream about require. However, their willingness to learn and admit their faults in the classroom shows promise for what they will be able to achieve after graduation. 

This group of students has also made its mark upon the teachers who consider themselves lucky to have had them in their class. School, while many students loathe it, has treated the Class of 2022 quite well. This is largely to do with the personal connections that these students have made with their teachers. Not only are they looking to learn and be cooperative with their teachers, but they also make a point to share their own knowledge, and truly treat their teachers like other people. Many go without caring for their teachers in any way, but the seniors of this year have not only found mentor figures in their teachers but friends as well. Without the active role that the Class of 2022 took, the mark that the teachers left upon these students, and vice-versa, would have been far less distinguishable. Throughout the years, this graduating class has created a family environment, rather than that of a classroom that nobody wants to be in. 

At the end of the day, people in every graduating class grow up to be important, as they are the ones who shape the world. As a member of the Class of 2022, however, I believe that this class will leave a unique impact on the world, and the schools that we will leave behind. Experiencing school alongside my fellow seniors, I’ve learned a lot about how to be a better person. While school always had its ups and downs, the people I went through it with pushed me to persevere, to the very last day. I know that this year’s graduating class will work together to create a better world, and I most certainly trust them to do amazing things in the future.

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