As students’ time at Marian comes to an end, many reflect on their high school career and how they could improve underclassmen experiences. In 2015, Principal Susie Sullivan and President Mary Higgins established senior lunches to get input from each and every senior on how the administration can make Marian a better place. The seniors are divided alphabetically and 10 participate in the lunch at a time. Lunch is not provided, students must bring a sack lunch from home. These lunches take place in the Student Services conference room during each lunch block from October to January or early February. Emma Boever ‘19 expressed her gratitude for the addition of senior lunch discussions, “I like how the groups are pretty small so everyone feels included in the conversation… it was a great way for students to communicate and interact with our administration.”
Sullivan and Higgins kick off the conversations by asking where each girl is planning on going to college and what they would like to major in. The discussion then turns towards the students’ Marian memories and what they’ve enjoyed most. The students also describe extracurricular involvements inside and outside of Marian that have meant the most to them. Higgins and Sullivans then open the conversation to any suggestions the students have for future improvement. “The discussions are always ‘a work in progress.’ Sometimes we change the format a little bit even from one lunch to the other. We are always looking for ways to enhance the conversation!” Higgins said.
These senior lunch discussions have already made an impact. The addition of white socks and quarter zip sweatshirts to the uniform, Honors Anatomy and Physiology and the economics requirement were all created based on senior lunch discussions. “Many times I give the history of the ‘why’ behind a decision or clear up a misconception. They [the lunches] are always very informative for both of us and I feel it keeps Mrs. Higgins and I informed,” Sullivan said.
Boever shares her advice on how to prepare after attending the first senior lunch, “Reflect on your time at Marian and think about both the positive and negative experiences you have had in the past three years. Be prepared to share your opinions and suggestions on how to improve our school.” The best way for seniors to prepare for these discussions is to reflect on their total career at Marian both in terms of academics as well as extracurricular involvement and think about suggestions to improve Marian. “Both Mrs. Sullivan and I thoroughly enjoy meeting with the seniors,” Higgins said.