2023 Senior Class Reflection


Madox Nicola, Sports Editor

9 days until Skyline’s seniors will finally be walking across the stage at T-Mobile Park. As time at Skyline is winding down it’s important to take a look back and see everything the senior class has accomplished and endured over the past four years. 

In 2019 seniors at Skyline high school began their four year journey at the school. It was also the first year of the enrolled 7 period days for students and teachers and it seemed like the schedule change would be the most difficult thing the 23’ class would have to face that year.

“Spending 27 years in the industry [sales job] I wasn’t sure what to expect,” Stan Debiec, the long-time sales associate turned teacher said.  “So much so I still remember my first couple of days. I started out a project and I then told all the students to throw it away cause I realized day two this wasn’t gonna work that great with the schedule.” 

Adjusting to high school was difficult for many freshmen that year. Skyline always sets high expectations for all of their students and it can become difficult to separate your homelife with school work. 

“From a teaching standpoint once a couple weeks into it and getting comfortable with the routine I loved it, ” Debiec said. It went really well I thought. I enjoy having people learn things that was always my favorite part and it makes things easy.”

The rest of the fall moved quickly and the 23’ class got its first round of essays at Skyline high school. Immediately, after winter break, early signs of the COVID-19 were announced on news channels like CNN, NBC, and even local news sites. It wouldn’t be until the end of January when the first confirmed COVID-19 would be reported out of Kirkland, Washington.

The time from late January into March felt like a blur. As confirmed cases began to rise it seemed only a matter of time before drastic measures would be taken to stop further spread. 

Then on March 13, 2020 speculation of school being canceled for multiple weeks began to fly around the school. As other school districts around the state announced closures it only seemed likely that Issaquah school district [ISD] would be next.

Some teachers took time out of class to answer questions on what might happen over the next few weeks. Then at approximately 2:45pm Skyline principal Keith Henning came over the loudspeaker to notify students and staff that the ISD has decided to suspend all class activities until further notice.

“You know a lot of people remember that distinctly, you know I vaguely remember,” Senior Elsa Mueller said. “I think I was in block and I’m like what the heck is this guy talking about? It won’t be that long.” 

Students would never get the chance to return to Skyline High School for that year as many people were forced to stay inside for much of the summer and into the fall. 

Then in Sophmore year it was not only the first fully online year but was the beginning of Canvas at Skyline High School. Students learned how to navigate through the modules to complete the assignment lists. Even teachers had to learn how to adjust to canvas. 

“Online was terrible. I can’t think of a better word than that I guess,” Jesse Julius said. Julius is a long time teacher at Skyline who is the head of the Art department at Skyline. “ You know no matter how hard we tried to get the materials out to students they didn’t have the right stuff, they lost it. Any number of situations could have happened. It’s very difficult to give feedback in the middle of a project when nobody has their cameras on, I couldn’t see what they were doing, an image just wasn’t enough.”

School sports were finally back at Skyline that fall. Coach Cameron Elissara took over the football program with a season filled with guidelines and countless rules for the season.

“We’re playing Issaquah that week, I wasn’t getting a lot of [playing time] but that week I was in the game,” Senior Mike Roni recalled while talking about his sophomore season. “I think I was sucking cotton down my airway that whole game.” 

The Spartans finished that year with an eventful win over Issaquah to bring the Coal Bucket back to Skyline where it still sits today. 

In March of 2021, Covid guidelines began to loosen. People were once again allowed to go back into restaurants to sit down, parks were more crowded, and Skyline athletes could once again play sports without masks. Students could also come back to the classroom if they wanted to depending on the specific day. 

The 2021-22 school year was a big adjustment for Seniors as it was the first time coming back to school in over an entire academic year. Students were still forced to wear masks at the start of the year but seniors were just happy to see other people at school.

Skyline sports had a mostly normal year with playoffs now added back to the seasons. Soccer finished 4th in state that year along with baseball in the spring, but the Men’s Lacrosse team was able to defeat Issaquah to win a state championship.

With that, the march to Senior year began. In maybe the oddest 3 years leading up the 23’ class’s senior year. Without having a true full year of high school, all teachers could do was hope for the best out of their students for their final year.

“Life is short, you make the best decision you can at each step of the way,” Julius said. “You try not to dwell too much in the past and don’t put too much of your focus on the future.”

The 23’ senior class came into this year ready to take on the challenge. With the ASB leadership at the school always meticulously planning out the year to ensure an amazing year at Skyline

“Ms. Zimmerman has done a great job filling in for Rossi after she had her baby,” senior ASB Vice President Charlie Gorman said. “She’s allowed us to continue to work together as one system.” 

What seems so long ago is the smokey haze that enclosed Sammamish in September and October. Much of the mountains around Skyline were in flames as the smoke ended up canceling many events such as sports and after school activities. 

“It was a good opportunity for guys to rest,” Trey Crandall Sr. and Varsity football captain for the Skyline Spartans. “Resetting our minds for the rest of the season. I didn’t see many issues with it.”

November 1st came to be dreaded by many seniors, as it was a deadline for college application for many schools. The bright side however was the sigh of relief after submitting the last application. Now some seniors could relax knowing there was nothing more they could do. Others spent the following time stressed checking their email frequently to find when the decision would be made. 

Through the winter students slowly began to know what school they would be heading to in the fall of 23’. The men’s basketball team made the state tournament for the first time in all current player’s careers

“Really fun, T-dome was the best,” Ryan Shields a Sr. and Varsity Basketball player for the team. “The only downside was that it was a little bright in there”  

As March was quickly approaching seniors were on the edge of their seats waiting for the University of Washington decision along with schools like TCU, USC etc. 

Some students decided to take on a 2-year school and some brave students even decided to enlist in the military. Regardless of the choices made for your life beyond Skyline, Seniors will always  share what they endured at their four years of Skyline academics that will help prepare anyone throughout life. `

In April, most Skyline Seniors had finally decided where they wanted to go to college in the fall. As seniors finished up with exit interviews many reflected on their journey after the four years as it seems graduation is approaching uncontrollably fast. The Skyline class of 23’ has accomplished something that no other class before them has. For all the nights spent studying, for all the times seniors learned how to balance their school, work, social life, and even sports for some. I encourage seniors to realize how much they have achieved and all the hard work that it takes to graduate from Skyline High School.