Stories From the End of the Line: Seniors Reflect Upon Their Time at Pinewood

Annabelle Eaton, News Writer

A last lunchtime in the Cue Quad. A last soccer game and a last chance to be a student at Pinewood. For Senior Class President Rathi Kolappa, graduation signifies the end of an era. 

When she got to high school, Kolappa joined the soccer team, a sport that she would play throughout her four years of high school. Even next year, as a Pinewood alumnus and Northeastern University freshman, Kolappa plans to keep in contact with her Pinewood friends and teammates. 

“I always think about the groups of people I have met at Pinewood,” Kolappa said. “And I remember how I thought it was really cool and fun to be a senior. It was a super exciting moment for me.”

According to Kolappa, her time at Pinewood seemed to stretch forever in the tiny moments and memories she recalls from high school; yet, it also seemed to end too abruptly, without enough time to say goodbye. 

“When I initially [thought] about it, [high school] seemed so short. Especially senior year, which I feel like went by so quickly,” Kolappa said. “But at the same time, when I actually look back at individual memories and stuff that happened this year, I’m shocked. It feels like so long ago.” 

Similar to Kolappa, Senior and Student Leadership Committee President Daniel Blotter has made invaluable connections across Pinewood in both student council and school sports. While Blotter will be attending Utah State University — over 800 miles from Pinewood — he says that the distance won’t be able to create a divide between him and the Pinewood community. 

“The Pinewood community has done so much for me, and I want to try to stay involved in whatever ways I can,” Blotter said. “I don’t want to have to disconnect.”

For Senior and SLC Sports Representative Ashton Riches, graduating from high school does not mean that it is the end of high school. Pinewood’s tight-knit community and unique environment allowed her to create personal relationships with most of the people in her grade, many of her teachers, and even those outside her grade through clubs, sports, and student government.

“[Pinewood] was like a little family,” Riches said. “All of the teachers, I’ve always [had] a personal connection with them. I appreciate now how loving everyone was more than I did a few years ago.”

Riches joined the volleyball team as a freshman and later became captain of the team. Through volleyball, Riches was able to grow as a person and meet people from different grades and backgrounds at Pinewood. This connected her to an even larger community at Pinewood. 

“What is special about Pinewood is the community and I feel like that is never going to change,” Riches said. “It has been like a family from the very beginning and it has stayed like that the whole time.”