Senior Superlatives: Appearance or Accomplishments?

Being a high school senior is bittersweet. Students look forward to the next stage of their lives — to college, new jobs, and overall, more independence — but they also have to say goodbye to many close friends and carefree childhoods. Morris Hills has many opportunities for seniors to commemorate their time in high school, such as senior prom, the senior picnic, and Project Graduation. Another opportunity for seniors to reflect on their time at Hills is when they consider voting for their fellow classmates for the yearbook’s “Senior Superlatives” section.

In a school environment extremely focused on defining students by grades, rank, and other various numbers, Senior Superlatives allow students to celebrate diversity in the class and highlight specific talents and attributes. This year, the Senior Superlatives were changed from the traditional titles to more specific ones. The decision to change the Superlatives was made by the yearbook staff and advisors, Mrs. Burgin and Mrs. Malandrino. Mrs. Burgin said the change was made to “shift the focus of the Superlatives from appearance and other subjective topics to how students had contributed to Morris Hills and their community.” The change was definitely a shock to some, but in the end, the Senior Superlatives successfully highlighted students’ varied accomplishments. For some, it served as a confirmation, such as for Shefali Kumar, who already has a charity organization called YouTopia and was voted “Most Likely to Create the Next Charitable Organization.” Shefali said, “I am honored that my work has been recognized in this way and hope to continue helping people with YouTopia.” For others, their title for Senior Superlatives was a surprise, as it was for Shreyas Agnihotri, who was voted “Most Likely to Write for the New York Times.” He said that he “had no clue [he] had a chance of winning this one or that people knew [him] as a writer, but it feels great to be selected.”

Past Morris Hills Senior Superlative winners, such as math teacher Mrs. Rome, said winning Most Athletic “still reminds her of high school, the best time of [her] life, even now.” Clearly, this tradition serves as a good way to commemorate four years of high school and celebrate outstanding classmates, one that stays with Morris Hills students long after they graduate.