Class of 2023: Diversly Cohesive

June 2, 2023 / Andrea Wenger

At the final chapel of the 2022-23 school year, members of the class of ’23 decorated (and later, cleaned up) the auditorium. Seniors Emily Hess and Andrew Lantz, who were part of the senior class executive team, shared the following reflections (watch them here). The class chose Benjamin Bixler, Bible teacher, to bring the final chapel address. He shared three life lessons: Change is inevitable. You are beloved, thanks to God’s everlasting love. Remember to maintain relationships. He tied the lessons into the biblical text and illustrated them with humor and wardrobe changes. See the video here.

Two words can quickly sum up our senior class, diversely cohesive. With our many different interests, we as a class have represented a wide variety of activities that our school has to offer while also being a class full of academically driven students that have become leaders of clubs and SCO, performers in musicals, singers, instrumentalists, and athletes.

We’ve played soccer, baseball, basketball, track and field, cross country, golf, and tennis. Won state championships in golf, basketball, and track and conference championships in golf and basketball. Many students have used their talents to participate in the arts at EMS or participated in musicals like Little Women, Les Mis, The Wizard of Oz, and Godspell. Students have played in the pit, helped with tech, were stage managers or stage crew, helped decorate the stages, and were actors. Members of our class participated in the first high school play, Our Town, after the tragic end of Alice in Wonderland.

We’ve had many students involved in choir and some were a part of the first touring choir to take a trip in three years. We’ve had countless talented artists and musicians. There are even many students active in their churches, communities, and political groups outside of school.

As a class our high school experience started off fairly rocky thanks to Covid-19 which hit in the spring of our freshman year. Covid canceled multiple sports seasons, had major effects on theater performances, changed choir and orchestra to the point where it was almost unrecognizable, marred the “normal” school day, and had a huge impact on our classes’ relationships and unity. After spending most of the spring online our freshmen year and then spending the next year and half of our high school life with masks and social distancing, the ways in which our classes’ social structure and relationships developed were quite abnormal. While many classes were and are able to bond through activities like e-term, class socials, lock-ins, clubs, and other social events our class had to rely entirely on each of our own personal wills to interact and socialize with each other. These losses of activities and social opportunities caused our class structure to be somewhat divided for a while. Even with our class almost always being the smallest in the school, online learning, masks, and social distancing allowed for our class to become fairly separated.

This class structure changed senior year during our senior trip to DC where a sense of unity and togetherness was found. Mrs. Hertzler and Mrs. Roth always hope that the DC trip will bring together students who wouldn’t normally talk to each other. Our class took full advantage of this time and became closer than ever and it helped us connect in so many ways this year. From endless games of chess or connect four to participating in water aerobics at the wellness center we’ve found ways to develop and grow closer as a group.

Diversely cohesive. Two words that really sum up our class. We come from many different backgrounds and upbringings. We all are different people who are involved in many different things. We all have different opinions, ideas, and goals for our lives. And yet we have found ways to make jokes, pull pranks, put on concerts, win championships, form friendships, make lasting memories, and connect together, as a class.

Check out some more photos from this story

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