North Rock Creek Public Schools to have first senior class during 2021-2022 school year

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star

For the first time in its history, North Rock Creek Public Schools will have a senior class during the 2021-2022 school year.

According to Superintendent Black Moody, the district is excited for the seniors to reach their final year of high school.

"This year and this particular graduation has been the dream of this community for decades," Moody said. "In a way we're fulfilling the wishes of students, parents, grandparents and now great-grandparents that went to school at North Rock Creek. It's a special year."

He explained the district will continue to recommend COVID-19 precautions to keep the seniors and all other NRC students safe from the pandemic.

However, under Senate Bill 658, which went into effect July 1, the district can't enforce a mask mandate.

"We will make all the recommendations that we made last year regarding masks, social distancing, hygiene and cleaning practices with the exception that we can't mandate masks and we will rely on enforcement of quarantines by the Oklahoma Health Department," Moody said.

According to NRC High School Principal Chad Brooking, he is happy to see how far the 87 seniors in his school have come.

North Rock Creek High School will have its first senior class this year.

"These graduates this year will be the last class that I taught," he said, adding these students were sixth graders back when he was in the classroom teaching. 

Moody said he hopes these seniors take what they have learned during their years at NRC and apply it to their life after they graduate.

"We hope they carry on what they've learned at North Rock Creek that we value so much," Moody said.

Brooking explained he believes the students are also excited about reaching their senior year.

"Every year we make history with a lot of firsts and this will be an exceptional year and I think they're very excited," Brooking said.

According to senior class president Emma Poyer, she agrees with Brooking and can't believe how quickly her time at NRC went by.

"It feels almost surreal. Now that we're here it just seems like we're all family and it's just awesome having gone through this journey with everyone," Poyer said.

Moody said the students went through so many firsts — both good and bad — but they handled it with grace.

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"These kids did an exceptional job and I think they did such a remarkable job even with the hurdles because they were excited about setting all the traditions," Moody said.

Where other seniors may have tweaked or altered traditions already set in place, the seniors of NRC were the ones who established the tradition of their high school.

These traditions included everything from school colors to letter sweaters and other typical traditions.

For Poyer, this is the best aspect of being the first graduating class at NRC.

"I just love that our opinions matter during this time because we are the ones who get to start new and everything that the high school is based on," she said.

The 18-year-old explained she and her class have gone through many challenges, but they're fortunate enough to hopefully experience aspects of their senior year that other senior classes weren't able to due to the pandemic.

Poyer is most ready to kick off the year with the Senior Sunrise.

"I think that will be so cool starting the new year out with a bang and watching the sun rise together with our senior class and just starting the year off right," she said.

Overall, everyone is looking forward to being back at school and having the best year.

Moody, however, is also excited for the high school to continue to grow and for the legacy of the seniors to live on.