Leaving a Legacy… or Not




Just like that, they are gone. 

Every year, every class thinks that their class is the best class of seniors to walk the halls of Lakeland High School.  

In a year, there will be a new class of seniors, and the year after the same thing. Each year just like the last will have students that think they will be remembered. 

Thinking back, can any teacher, student, or administrator remember a class that sticks out farther than the rest? Some classes throughout the years stick right out of the rest. What makes those classes stick out, though?

Shannon LaFountain, a principal assistant at LHS, started teaching in 1986 and has moved around the surrounding schools throughout the years. As years of her teaching stack up, the years tend to blend together. In the early 2000s at Kootenai, there were about three or four years that left an impression on her. 

As the years go on, really good or bad classes leave an impression, but generally it is more memorable parts or people that leave people remembering them. Senior classes make an impact on the classes below, above, and the Rathdrum Community.  

“An impactful senior class has a glass-half-full feel and is full of leadership and participation,” LaFountain said.

Teachers hear and see everything and can get a general feel for how much impact a class of seniors will make.

The Class of 2023 will be the last class that went through high school during COVID. Having this significant event in the four years of high school these seniors have been through may have left a ripple. For the classes below, how fast the 2023 graduating class bounced back may affect how they act.

Conner Mulligan, a senior at LHS, thinks that his class of seniors will be remembered and leave behind a great legacy. The Class of 2023 is full of great people with leadership skills that will lead the lower classes to success. 

Being the last class of high school students that went through COVID definitely affected the legacy the class is leaving. Freshman year is the beginning of high school, where many students grow the most, so the experiences may have been changed without the full four years. Even without a freshman year, the senior class is mature. Having the COVID year gave time to have alone time and get to know oneself better. 

“We have a really great group of seniors,” Mulligan said. 

Every class has had a unique experience throughout the years, which leads to a unique impression left by each.

LHS provides a wonderful place to grow into mature seniors ready to graduate and leave behind a one of a kind legacy.

Hayden Benson, a sophomore at LHS, thinks that his class’s legacy will be either sports or leadership. The LHS class of 2023 will also leave a legacy through sports because of the wins, records, and places they went in throughout the year. 

In general, the seniors leave an example to follow. Through classes and sports the lowerclassmen are around the upperclassmen; they often watch what they do and follow in their footsteps. The senior’s and junior’s steps may be in the wrong direction at times, but younger kids will follow in order to fit in.

“We look for an example to follow,” Benson said. 

It is a fact that every young person watches those older than them to determine appropriate behavior and identify models of who they hope to be like. Not only is it with high school students, but this habit is mostly seen with siblings. ‘I hope to be just like her/him,’ is said by many younger siblings when they observe their older just simply being. 

Joshua Ballard, a science teacher at LHS, has two younger siblings, two and four years younger. He thinks that siblings 100 percent naturally look up to peers and older siblings. They are looking for how to act, how to have fun, and what the limits are. Without siblings it may be harder for some kids to have someone to look up to. 

As an older sibling, he had to be conscious about things he did like the music he listened to or movies he watched to protect them. 

As a teacher, he thinks students look up to him to a certain degree, but less in high school. By the time many people get to high school, they already have developed who they are. High school students more watch how he reacts in some situations. Teachers have a huge impact on how students may act. 

“In a study I read about, it said students copy like 80 percent of teacher mannerism, how they talk, and how they present,” Ballard said. 

Being careful about the actions one may take is vital because one does not know who may be watching. Showing younger students or siblings what is right and wrong will help them in the future leave a legacy too. 

The same goes for the underclassman, though. Ensuring one picks a good upperclassmen to follow and become like may help avoid a dire future. If they go down the wrong path does not mean that it needs to be followed, it is possible to watch their mistake and learn from it just the same. 

Leave a legacy.