Despite the unconventional times that we are experiencing this year, Lamplighter remains committed to honoring many of our beloved school traditions. Two of these traditions include the annual Senior Jacket Ceremony and Senior Luncheon which typically take place in early fall to help kick off the iconic fourth grade year.

To continue these traditions while maintaining a safe environment for our community, Lamplighter hosted an outdoor, socially-distanced picnic for the Class of 2021 and their parents on Friday, September 25. On this beautiful early fall day, students and parents assembled around the playground hill at individual family tables. Dr. Joan Buchanan Hill, Catherine M. Rose Head of School, kicked off the event by welcoming the guests to the signature spot on the playground where Seniors receive their jackets each year.

The event featured a special presenter, Terrence Cao ’20, a fifth grader at St. Mark’s School of Texas, who was serving as Head of School for the Day. Terrence is a recent Lamplighter graduate who won the unique experience of leading Lamplighter for the day during last year’s LPA Auction, Earth Ball 2020. The School was honored to have Terrence take time away from his middle school to return to campus to serve in this leadership role. His day involved hosting meetings, visiting classrooms, making announcements, sending important emails, and taking part in the Senior Picnic, Jacket & Pin Ceremony. During the event, Terrence provided remarks for the Class of 2021, reflecting on his Lamplighter experience, and providing insight and wisdom as a new member of the School’s alumni association. He noted, “My advice for the Class of 20201 is to cherish your time at Lamplighter, because the memories you make here will last a lifetime.”

Following Terrence’s remarks, Lamplighter Music Teacher Natalie Bittner led all guests in our school song, Lamplighter Spirit, using American Sign Language due to current restrictions on singing among groups. Next, it was time to present each member of the Class of 2021 with their Senior jacket. Mr. Stephen Scott, Lamplighter’s new Assistant Head for Teaching and Learning in Lower School, called each fourth grader up the hill to be recognized while the event DJ played a favorite song pre-selected by each student. Dr. Hill presented the Senior Jackets at the top of the hill and each student wore the signature item with pride.

Once the jackets were presented, Terrence Cao ’20 was joined by fellow Lamplighter alumna Grace Cook ’98 to lead the Senior Pin Ceremony. The Senior Pin represents the students’ journey through Lamplighter and the exciting experiences to come. In leading this portion of the event, Grace Cook ’98 reiterated the School’s mission, Dedicated to igniting the potential of each child, Lamplighter engages children in the joy of learning through intellectual discovery in a creative, inclusive, and collaborative environment, noting to the Class of 2021 parents that “Your students represent the pinnacle of this work.”

The event culminated with a socially-distanced Senior Jacket group photo on the Owen Family Soccer Field using a drone to capture the fun and excitement of the day. Lamplighter salutes our 52 members of the Lamplighter Class of 2021!