We interrupt this article to define an Evergreen:
1. A very resilient tree that is always green
2. Anyone who has been at Pinewood from K-12
This describes many of the seniors very well (except the tree part).
This was an interesting first assignment for The Perennial since I was interviewing seniors. I first set about finding out who the Evergreens were from the office staff and set up interviews with those who were available. I thank alumnus Karina Uppal, and seniors Hannah Riches, Sara Bares, and Sean Murphy for spending time with me to provide material for this article.
Unanimously, they described Pinewood as a positive, friendly environment. They also believe that the teachers are helpful, friendly, accessible, and encouraging. Unsurprisingly, their least favorite part of school is homework.
Memorable moments mentioned were the Cuba community service trip, basketball games, and spending time with their friends.
“[My favorite moment at Pinewood was at] Gator-Raid, when we won on a buzzer beater, and there [were] a ton of Pinewood students in the stands, and everyone just went insane, and it was just a super intense game,” said Murphy.
When many of their fellow classmates were switching schools, these students decided to stay at Pinewood because of the friendly environment and tightly-knit community.
“[I stayed because] I like the small environment and having close relations with my teachers. Also, my older brother, who I’m really similar to, stayed – I never really thought about leaving,” said Bares.
Even after all these years, there was nothing substantial the Evergreens wanted to change about their school. However, some tweaks included shortening lunches to half an hour, and having even more participation at school spirit days. Bares suggested adding 20 kids per grade to make Pinewood a slightly bigger school.
Uppal, who graduated in 2015, said that at her time, there were fewer technology and coding classes. A lot can change through the years – nowadays, everyone uses iPads.
With their high school careers ending this year, these seniors advised the younger kids to take advantage of all the time they have at Pinewood. Even though some days might seem tortuous and never-ending, the years will pass before you know it.
The most valuable lessons they have learned from Pinewood were time management, building relationships, and developing solid values.
“Now I’m a senior, I’m getting a little nostalgic – it goes by a lot faster than you would think,” Bares said.
Photos courtesy of Darian Mohsenin and SmugMug.
Photos coutesy of SmugMug and Darian Mohsenin