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Walk, don’t run

Seniors start new tradition with stroll through Lower School

The+Class+of+2017+walks+through+the+Lower+School+hallway+as+students+look+on+and+cheer.
The Class of 2017 walks through the Lower School hallway as students look on and cheer.

The Class of 2017 walks through the Lower School hallway as students look on and cheer.

Photo courtesy of Kim Dudash

Photo courtesy of Kim Dudash

The Class of 2017 walks through the Lower School hallway as students look on and cheer.

Ilana Kaplan, Reporter

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In past years, the last day of school for CESJDS seniors culminated with the pounding sound of the entire graduating class sprinting down the halls of the school to say goodbye to the building. This year, however, there was silence.

No one knows for sure how the run started, but Dean of Students Roz Landy said that it must have happened spontaneously one year on the seniors’ last day and has been going on for at least the past 17 years.

According to Landy, the senior run was canceled this year because of a new insurance carrier that is much stricter about activities in which the school participates. Landy agrees with the insurance company and believes that the run is “just plain dangerous,” given that the grade stampedes the halls and sometimes even each other. In previous years, students have ended up with sprained wrists or other injuries as a result of the run.

While Landy had no issues canceling the run, some students, like senior Aaron Weiss, did not feel the same way. Tradition has always been important to Weiss, especially since he has older siblings who attended JDS. After watching them take part in traditions like the run, Weiss feels like it is now his turn.

“[The run] was so exciting to me, that I was going to be among my friends saying goodbye to the place I’ve called home for the past eight or nine years, and I wasn’t able to do that,” Weiss said.

Similarly, senior Maya Fontheim, who also has siblings who attended the school, feels that more and more of senior year had been “watered down” and that it has completely changed from what it once was.

“Once you change tradition, you’re changing the foundation of what makes senior year senior year,” Fontheim said.

While the tradition of the run may have come to an end, JDS has started a new practice for the seniors: walking laps around the Lower School in their caps and gowns.

Landy enjoyed watching this new tradition take place on January 18, when all of the seniors hopped onto the bus to the Lower School with their grade advisors and walked around the school waving to old teachers and current students. She thought it was appreciated by seniors, teachers and Lower School students alike.

“It wasn’t wild, it was just sweet and meaningful for everybody,” Landy said.

Fontheim never attended the Lower School, but she did walk with her grade despite being critical of the new idea. She said she felt that the main purpose of the walk was so that administration could film it and put it on the website.  

Though senior Talia Levi did attend the Lower School, she said she recognized the perspective of someone like Fontheim who did not. For Levi, though, the significance of the walk was the nostalgia that she felt returning as a senior.    

“I think the ultimate goal of the walk is to show those kids that they will be in our shoes one day and they are going to grow up and be successful and graduate just like us,” Levi said. “It represents how far I’ve come, how hard I’ve worked and showed me that I can be a role model.”

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