C/O 2022 Seniors’ Last Day



Durant seniors enjoying their senior sunrise.

Ayla Yebba, Assistant to the Editor

On Thursday, April 19, the graduating class of 2022 started their last day of school with a senior sunrise event put on by the Senior Council. With a little over a hundred students attending, they experienced a beautiful sunrise together in front of the school.

Later that morning, the senior breakfast tradition, hosted by the culinary classes and junior council, was held to celebrate the seniors on their accomplishments of finishing high school. Seniors enjoyed cinnamon rolls, pancakes, cut fruit, sausage patties, and a variety of juices.

Senior Jacob Malinchak plans to study finance at FSU in the fall. His favorite part of his last day of school was the senior video created by Durant’s TV Production students. He experienced mixed emotions throughout his day, first with the senior sunrise leading into the senior breakfast and senior video.

“[I was] sad that it’s the last time I’ll be at Durant and get to see a lot of people I see daily, but also excited for the future,” said Malinchak. “…The senior breakfast was very good. Thank you to the junior council and culinary staff for putting that together for all of us.”

Senior Makayla Facenda plans to attend the University of South Florida. She has been accepted into the Freshman Nursing pathway and will be pursuing her bachelor’s degree in nursing. As of right now, she’s interested in becoming a labor and delivery nurse and later pursuing her license to be a nurse practitioner.

“Everything felt surreal and even exhilarating. It wasn’t until the very end while watching the senior video that I began to feel both somber and appreciative,” said Facenda. “I left school that day with mixed feelings of sadness, closure, and a newfound excitement for my next chapter in life.”

Senior Kendall Long plans to attend Stetson University in the fall and major in business and minor in political science. Long felt very emotional because it was her last day stepping on campus and seeing all of her high school friends together for one more school day. The thing she will miss most about Durant is the school spirit students presented throughout her high school career. She loved the idea of a senior sunrise to start off her last day at Durant. She enjoyed watching the senior video and watching all of her classes’ memories from the year flash up on the screen.

“Seeing everyone there signing each other’s yearbooks and noticing that ‘have a good summer’ turned into ‘have a good life’ was really sad to notice,” said Long. “Reading my gold letters was really emotional, the first one I started crying.”

Senior Ryan Brooks will be attending Valencia Community College (UCF JUCO) with the hopes of becoming a teacher followed by administering as a principal. Although he’s looking forward to moving on, Brooks will still miss Durant and the memories he made along his high school career.

“I felt honestly happy. I’m really glad to get out into the real world,” said Brooks. “I’m going to miss the lacrosse team and all the memories I made eating with my seniors.”

Senior Averie Brown plans to attend USF to study dentistry. Her last day of high school was bittersweet because, while she is going to miss her friends, she is also looking forward to more exciting things in the future to come.

“I’m definitely going to miss the environment and some of the teachers I looked up to over the last four years,” said Brown. “The senior sunrise and senior breakfast was a great way to celebrate and get together with my class for the last time.”

Senior Bryanna Ojeda plans to attend HCC for two years and then start EMT Training to become an EMT. Ojeda is going to miss Friday night lights the most at Durant and the feeling she gets from this high school tradition.

“Honestly at first for the last day of school I was super excited and ready to leave,” said Ojeda. “At the end of the day it was a bittersweet moment realizing it’s all over and that was it.”

The senior sunrise and senior breakfast was a great way to end their senior year. These students are now looking forward to the official closure of their high school experience. Durant’s graduation is held on Tuesday, May 24 at the Florida State Fairgrounds.

Congratulations to the graduating class of 2022. May your futures be big and bright after your time spent at Durant High School.