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Clarion

Senior Goodbye: Alleigh VandeMerkt

Alleigh VandeMerkt, Editor-In-Chief

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Looking back on my time at Riverside Brookfield High School, certain experiences stick out in my mind: being chased into Mr. Gouwens’ classroom as a freshman by an unhappy senior, a soccer sectional semi-final game, and rushing to finish the hard copy of Clarion by the deadline. While my four years at RB were filled with many diverse experiences, those three memories are my favorites.
The first experience I can recall so vividly was, because I was… well, terrified. As a new freshman, I learned quickly that you have to be aware of what you say, what you do, and the people you choose to hang out with. Being around positive people will help you live a positive life. You can pick your friends and the people you are surround yourself with.
Our sectional soccer semifinal game against U-High, though we lost, brings back fond memories. Because of a lightning delay, our team was trapped in the Nazareth Academy gymnasium for over an hour. Laughing, dancing, and playing stupid games, we passed the time like we were a family. We lost the game two to zero and many of my teammates went off to college after that season. I will never forget the tireless effort and teamwork every single player on that team contributed during that game. We were playing for each other and playing so hard because we never wanted that season to end. I learned that year that a team is more than just a group of girls and a coach. Our coach and all of our teammates cared more than just about the score of the game or talent. It was about who we were as people and who we were becoming. I found out on that evening what high school athletics were all about. Thank you to all of my coaches and teammate that have made a large impact on my time at RB.
On a teacher institute day when no other students were present, some of us on the Clarion staff were scrambling to get the hard copy layout done by the ensuing deadline. While most students would be unhappy to be in school that day, it was one of my favorite days off of school. We listened to Christmas music and scrapped together money to order Jimmy John’s sandwiches because we were at the school for so long. Everyone was so optimistic, even though we finished barely on time. Being a part of the Clarion has been an experience that nothing else in my lifetime could have replaced. I am now great friends with other staff members, and I learned an incredible amount about journalism and the politics of the RB community from my experiences as an editor and from Mr. Mancoff.
Because these memories have good and bad things within them, I think the experiences sum up my time at RB. High school is both good and bad experiences teaching lessons that you cannot learn any other way. I am thankful for my entire high school experience that only RB could have given me and the opportunities it has led me to. Thank you to all of my teachers, coaches, and sponsors. I truly appreciate your dedication to the students at RB.

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Free of Bull, Full of Bulldogs
Senior Goodbye: Alleigh VandeMerkt