The History is in the Handprints

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The History is in the Handprints

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The senior class has a long standing tradition of placing their handprints on a square of the wall at the top of the stairs by Senior Square. In October, a fresh coat of white paint went over the previous class’s handprints, making room for the new ones placed Nov. 14. But why paint over them at all? Why erase the history?  Why not leave the handprints?

The tradition of senior handprints is over a decade old, starting long before this building. Each student lines up with their hand covered by a glove and dipped in paint either blue or yellow. After pressing their hand to the wall, seniors take a Sharpie marker and sign their name. Then these handprints remain for about a year, until covered.

What would it be like to walk down the hall and not only see the current seniors, but also of alumni of years and years before? There could be so much history on the walls, but instead students see white, impersonal walls that look more like the walls of a prison than the walls of somewhere that celebrates school spirit and Viking pride.

What if, instead of painting over the hands, seniors could really leave a mark on the school? There is more than enough room in each hallway for a portion to be allotted for each class. For example, use the white space above the lockers and line the top of a portion of lockers with the handprints of one specific class.

Every class does so much for the Howell community, and so much of it goes unrecognized. Alumni tend to fade away and be forgotten, and photo composites in senior square disappear into closets, so leaving the handprints would be such a great way to continue to recognize those people and the mark each class left. It would be such a great alternative to be able to walk down halls that celebrate the Vikings who came before.

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