Seniors leave their final mark on the school


A group of senior handprints has already begun to fill a section of the wall. Each hand has its own unique colors and designs.

As students pass by the stairs in the English hallway, an array of hands of all colors and designs can be seen, only continuing to grow in size and beauty. 

The tradition of seniors placing their hands on the wall has occurred at our school since 2007. This marks the 15th year. 

“Our old SCA advisor Ms. (Nancy) Thomas collaborated with the Student Council Association president at the time and they thought it would be a nice way to leave their legacy behind,” said senior SCA president Kenly Howerter.

The process of placing hands this year started on  February 23 and will end before spring break. 

“One of the things we are looking for in SCA is trying to empower students, so the senior SCA representatives were given the opportunity to choose where the hands would be,” SCA advisor Jamee Robinson said. 

Seniors have seven colors to choose from to paint their hands with. They can choose up to three colors to use and can do whatever sort of pattern they would like, such as swirls or zig zags. 

“Us seniors are the ones who picked out the paint colors this year. The money used comes from our SCA fund,” said Howerter. 

The SCA has been and will continue to be the group that is in charge of this large operation. 

“This is my first year as one of the SCA co-sponsors alongside Jason Bryant so we’re coming into this by learning things on the fly,” Robinson said. 

The seniors help teach the underclassmen how to work through processes like these. “The seniors in SCA especially take charge because we’re the ones who picked the color scheme and collaborated with art to do the mural theme,” said Howerter. 

Other than the underclassmen, the seniors also help the co-sponsors learn how to do this. “I’ve really relied on the seniors who have been in SCA for a long time to figure out what the steps are for getting this accomplished,” Robinson said. 

“We also have meetings with everyone to make sure we are being as efficient as possible with carrying out the project.”

Although this process is a very exciting time for seniors, it can also come with some obstacles. 

“Sometimes we are a little overwhelmed with the number of students we are getting at a time,” Howerter said. “Our first or second day we had about thirty kids during one lunch shift and we unfortunately could not get them all up obviously.”

Most seniors participate in this experience every year, even during the worst of the pandemic. 

“During 2020 with it getting cut short and 2021 with everything being online, the max amount of people we’ve missed is like five,” Howerter said. “A lot of times it’s just like people being out of town or not wanting to do it.” 

Although seniors may put their hand as well as their name on the wall, they are not allowed to put anything else. “We do discourage any sort of symbols or words alongside their handprints,” Robinson said. 

“Unfortunately we did have an issue either in our county or at our school where there was a lawsuit against two students because they thought each other’s symbols were offensive, so they went to court and now no one is allowed to do symbols anymore,” Howerter said. 

However, some students were unaware of this rule prior to putting their hand on the wall and had written symbols down. 

“We did have to go over some people who did plain things like stars, quotes or hearts,” Howerter said. 

It takes everyone in SCA working together and being assigned different jobs to get through this. 

“We have people checking off student’s names, people washing hands off, artistic people who can actually draw straight lines to paint hands,” Robinson said. “It’s vital we have the right people in the right positions. 

Despite this being considered a long, tedious process, it’s a unique part of the school’s history that many enjoy.

“I think it’s a wonderful, fabulous tradition that kids can actually leave their physical mark on the school,” Robinson said.