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The Traditional IB Pinning Ceremony Returns

The narrative that has been pushed throughout the entirety of the 2021-22 school year has been of the “return to normalcy,” in terms of students being given the opportunity to not only return to the building physically, but also participate in fully run Ferguson events that every class has been accustomed to. 

This newfound sense of exhilaration has been seen further now that students are entering the latter half of the school year, having witnessed the premiere pep rally at the glamorously aesthetically remodeled gym, now referred to as “The Cage,” Senior Breakfast, and class trips. 

However, an event that fully encapsulates the high school journey of a significant number of students here at Ferguson is the tradition of the IB Pinning Ceremony.

“It was a great environment. It felt very familiar for everyone to be together as we felt like a community that still had an important purpose and we felt motivated to finish the year as strongly as possible as an IB academy,” stated Film teacher, Mr. Moreno.

This year’s rendition of the ceremony presented a structural alternative to how it was usually run prior to lockdown due to the Covid-19 epidemic. Traditionally, the intent of the ceremony is for the IB juniors to be crowned by the seniors and some IB seniors as an official welcoming of sorts to the program.  

However, since the seniors of the 2022 graduating class were stripped away of their moment, a second event was organized on Wednesday February 16th, exactly a week prior to the junior’s version on the 23rd, to ensure that the seniors would finally obtain their moment of recognition in the program.

The overall atmosphere and positive energy in the room was palpable, as this setting provided sentimental reunion between the entire class and their teachers before moving on from the program this year, especially with the added emotional weight of them being separated for long periods of time.

“Before the pandemic I was always told the IB pinning ceremony was supposed to promote you into the diploma program instead of the pre-diploma program, so it felt like a rite of passage,” stated senior, Kaitlyn Salvicruz. “It feels very relieving that we were able to get that back to us and have such a momentous occasion occur despite the circumstances.”

What further enhanced the festivities were the close connections between the IB teachers and students being displayed on stage in a public setting.

“It was very emotional for the seniors to have such an important event and it was very well put together,” stated Mrs. Guevara. “I have known the students I pinned for a very long time, and it was an honor to have them ask.”

The festivities proceeded to the aforementioned junior ceremony the week after. The teachers and freshly minted seniors were ready to resume the tradition of inaugurating the future graduates of the program. 

Juniors also made the most of this experience, as they are in the final stretch of their high school careers where everything they do now will matter towards their future scholastic aspirations. Having this moment of recognition was immeasurably valuable to them. 

“I love that we got to get dressed up, see our friends, and get pinned by someone special to us in order to continue with the IB program,” stated junior, Andrea Alvarez.  “It was so refreshing to just be in a room with everyone to share that beautiful experience together. 

The International Baccalaureate program is one of the most rigorous and challenging prospects a high school student could sign up for. To be able to successfully navigate through those four years requires a substantial amount of investment and devotion to education, and one’s senior year and junior year highlights an overall growth larger than the already profound regular high school experience. Thus, necessitating events to honor the students who decide to take that route and achieve success in it. Especially when one analyzes the climate of an IB class, it is filled with a diverse array of students with different goals, different attitudes towards school and certain sectors of their education but are a collective of individuals who will go through educational adversity to advance academically and socially. 

“I feel like it was more commemorative. It was a formality because we were just getting a pin but I feel like it stands for something more. It shows that we are a group and we have been through a lot together. Plus the fact that we still had the opportunity to have this ceremony shows the resilience of the IB community and I am glad that we did hold it,” said senior, Ugo Okwuadigbo.

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