Amanda LeBlanc ‘21: As always, people hoped for 2019 to bring lots of health and happiness to their lives. In order to ensure a great year, people create New Year’s resolutions to stay on track by achieving their personal goals. While many people try different resolutions, others decide to take a different approach and reflect on the past year.
Kicking it off in January, Romeo students participated in Charity Week, a week focused on helping select organizations give back to people in need. Student Council participants chose “Leader Dogs For the Blind” as the charity for 2019.
“When we chose our charity as Leader Dogs For the Blind, I loved the idea because I loved the dogs and I thought it was a great way to connect the charity to our school,” Riley Ameel ‘21 said.
Students chose this charity in hopes of helping both humans and animals in need. Following that, a polar vortex swept across the midwest, resulting in many days off from school. This also pushed back midterm exams numerous times.
The weather in February finally calmed down a bit for students to take their midterms. After exams, students started scheduling for next year and learning about the different classes to choose from. With the transfer to the new school coming up, students received new course options, which gave them the ability to explore new opportunities.
Some Romeo students competed in the annual Michigan HOSA Leadership Conference in March. Prior to this, students passed regionals in order to qualify for states and advance to the next round. Grand Rapids hosted the competition from March 21-22, where many students placed in the top 10.
“I love going to states because you get to meet a bunch of people from all over the state with similar interests,” Brooke Bennett ‘20 said. “I compete because it gets me a lot of exposure to different parts of the medical field.”
HOSA gives students opportunities for jobs in the medical field and prepares them for a future after high school.
April brought quite a bit to celebrate. Winding down to the end of the school year, our very own science teacher, Mr. Taubitz, won the teacher of the year award. Afterwards, Romeo students practiced the block schedule, now part of their daily routine. At the end of the month, some seniors attended an annual baccalaureate service to honor the students graduating soon. This night prepares students for their future and offers inspiring messages to lead them on their path to greatness.
As summer approaches, students give their final efforts to keep their grades up in May. Lots of homework piles in during the last full month of school. Studying intensifies as students prepare for AP and final exams. Seniors start to feel more carefree as their high school career comes to a close, but more impatient for their next course in life.
Finally, school’s out for summer. June hits students with a feeling of relief as they don’t need to worry about the stress of school anymore.
“This summer was great because I always love the weather and getting to hang out with my friends without having to worry about school,” Sarah Zwiez ‘23 said.
The excitement of summer heightened by the Romeo Baseball team taking home a district championship title against Rochester and Rochester Adams. An amazing BBQ restaurant, owned by drama teacher, Mrs. Knoblock, opened this summer. This restaurant impresses people with it’s friendly, community feel with a menu that features amazing meat, beans, and sides, all cooked to perfection.
Although students take part in summer activities, they continue to further their learning throughout July. Newspaper and Yearbook students took a trip to Michigan State University to learn how to become better journalists and increase their abilities. This offered students the opportunity to learn about different writing, themes and concepts associated with journalism.
With the summer coming to a close, Romeo hosted Peach Fest, an annual tradition that brings residents from all around to celebrate the origins of Romeo with craft shows, carnival rides and parades. This Romeo tradition lasts roughly a week long with different attractions that invite people to come and celebrate. Among all of the excitement, another local business opened in town called Main’s Treat Coffeehouse. This cafe embodies a small-town feel with a welcoming atmosphere. To add on to the Romeo pride, painters began creating a mural at the end of August, which now enhances the spirit of our town.
September, time to go back to school. However, this year, Romeo students got shifted around. The new bond that passed moved locations of the high school to the old RETC building. Contractors worked on the building over summer and students moved into it at the beginning of the new school year.
“For me, moving into the new school was pretty neat,” Mr. Fugate, ASL teacher, said. “It was nice to have a change and have more room and technology for students.”
Many students commented on how they enjoy the new, clean feeling of the school. The new school also brought a new block schedule, which changed the dynamic of the classroom and teaching styles. Both students and teachers needed to get used to the new schedule. After a while, it became the new ‘normal’.
To raise the spirits of students, Romeo held their annual Watchdog Game in October. This beloved tradition accumulated thousands of dollars over the past decade to go towards cancer research. Players get the opportunity to play for a loved one they know that fights or previously fought cancer. A couple weeks after, the school held a haunted homecoming.
“I liked the idea of Haunted Homecoming this year because it incorporated Halloween into the dance,” Ava Ganfield ‘20 said.
Students participated in a spirit week that went along with the spooky theme, which contributed to the Halloween atmosphere. This homecoming truly encompassed the spirit of the upcoming holiday.
The beginning of November established a hard time for the bulldogs as the football team ended their season with a district loss against Davison.
“My favorite part of 2019 was managing with my football family because it was my last year managing since I’m a senior,” Ronald Pichette ‘20 said.
Moving on to the middle of the month, the board proposed a bond to convert Total Sports Park into a community center for town residents. However, this leads to an increase in taxes, and with the new school bond passed, citizens already need to pay even more money. This led voters to turn down the bond by a considerable 78.1% to 22.9% total.
In December, select students took part in the HOSA competition where many qualified to move on to compete in states. With the holiday season just around the corner, Romeo students participated in a fundraiser for “Toys 4 Tots” in order to collect toys for families that need a little bit of help providing during the Christmas season. Adding on to the holiday cheer, Link Crew put together a Christmas spirit week to get Romeo students more involved around the holidays.
As 2019 came to an end, people reflected on the year and what made it so special. Looking to the future, everyone waits in anticipation and hopes for an even better 2020.