By Eddna Odedoyin (Senior)
A small end of the year celebration for IB students held in the boys’ gym quickly expanded to an external space in less than four years.
On May 28th, 2012, Senn High School commenced hosting the International Baccalaureate Banquet in a hall at DePaul University due to the massive growth of enrolled IB students.
The banquet was originally called the ‘End of the year Celebration’. The celebration was first held in room 115 and was celebrated on a much smaller scale. In 2009, the IB program expanded a little and the small gym was used.
Claire Saura, an IB Coordinator at Senn High School since 2009 said, “The IB program used to be very small, approximately eleven students and five teachers. We were all able to fit in room 115 and a few years later, we ended up moving to the small gym and now there is no way we can all fit in there.”
The IB Banquet is attended by administrators and faculty involved in the International Baccalaureate program. This event is exclusive to Senn High School.
“Other schools do a small celebration at the end of the year for their IB students but Mr. Gregg and I have found the value in celebrating these wonderful students in a huge way,” said Ms. Saura.
The IB banquet however does not involve everyone that has had the IB experience. Only students involved in attaining the IB diploma are invited. David Duvall, an IB Literature Junior year teacher states, “This is a disadvantage because the kids who take the challenge to enroll in the certificate IB program should also be celebrated.”
All 27 IB senior diploma candidates will be attending the banquet.
Ali Piracha, IB Senior Diploma Candidate said, “I am very excited to be attending this event, I think we have all been anticipating for the banquet since November. I am eager to see all my classmates and the awards they will receive.”
Some students have been nominated more than once and some have won more than one award throughout their years as an IB Diploma candidate, while other students have never been nominated.
“I feel terrible about the kids that do not get nominated and never had the opportunity to feel honored. Honestly, if we gave everyone an award it takes away the uniqueness for that one person who truly deserves it,” said Ms. Saura.
Teachers are not left out in this honorary ceremony. Every year, a teacher gets an IB Learner profile award.“I think it will be Mr. Lev,” said Ali Piracha. Both the teachers and students are looking forward to knowing the winner. However, Ms. Ambre, an IB Art teacher won this award last year.
As part of the IB tradition, every graduating IB class presents a five minute video that highlights their hard work and bond since freshmen year. Jocelyn Velazquez, an IB Senior Diploma Candidate said, “This year’s video will be really emotional because the pictures capture the sad and happy moments of being an IB student for four years.”
The Class of 2015 is absolutely ready and excited about this upcoming event because it will be their last banquet together.“We are totally going to have a blast. Collin Yan will probably perform his hilarious dancing steps,” said Piracha.