Watching while waiting at PHS

Lisa Essman, left, and Tonya Hatch, right, surround Pelham High School's National English Honor Society officers. (Contributed)

Lisa Essman, left, and Tonya Hatch, right, surround Pelham High School’s National English Honor Society officers. (Contributed)

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist

“There are 44 days until graduation,” PHS Senior Jessica Lingle said.

“Thirty-one days if you don’t count weekends,” Katie Thomas added.

Each spring when the seniors stop focusing on what’s next — and start counting what’s left — we have officially arrived at what Dr. Seuss called “The Waiting Place,” in his book perfectly suited for graduates entitled, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”

For 2014, “The Waiting Place” includes our school’s entire student body, faculty and staff. We’re all awaiting huge changes to come. Seniors are awaiting an entirely new way of life, altered routines, exciting opportunities and serious challenges.

This year, the waiting place is larger. We’re all in the waiting place with the graduating seniors. Everyone at PHS faces exciting opportunities and new challenges. We’re all making preparations for the coming changes. With a new Helena High School claiming some of our school community and a new school system working to reinvent Pelham’s schools, change rushes towards us.

We’re working while waiting — practicing and preparing for AP tests and finals, completing publications, celebrating the successes of the year and honoring the students’ hard work at honor society inductions. At the National English Honor Society induction this week, upperclassmen excelling in the language arts, displaying good character and achieving the required GPA were inducted.

Lisa Essman, longtime senior PHS English teacher reminded students that Welty considered literature, language and writing an honor to use and asked students to consider what they would do with this honor. Before presenting the NEHS seniors with their graduation honor cords, the adviser and founder of the PHS Much Ado About Literature chapter of NEHS, PHS teacher Tonya Hatch recognized how committed the class of 2014 has been.

“Thoreau said, ‘It takes two to speak the truth — one to speak and another to hear,’” said Hatch as she closed the ceremony encouraging students to be seekers, speakers and writers of truth.

Seuss closed, “Oh the Places You’ll Go,” with “Your mountain is waiting—so get on your way!”

At PHS, we’re ready to embrace the truth, conquer the mountain and rise to the challenges ahead.