ROCHELLE – Students and staff of Rochelle Township High School gathered in the Gymnasium this morning to celebrate the coming end of the schoolyear and to honor many different achievements.
“It is our culminating event and what we try to do is recognize everything the kids have done throughout the year,” said Lauri Pillen, Counselor at Rochelle Township High School. “As well as recognize excellent attendance.”
The assembly, which has been held for more than 20 years, included performances by the Chellettes Dance Team, the faculty band, a Family Feud style game between teachers, and even a soccer match between the RTHS student soccer team and members of the staff.
“My favorite part was the soccer match,” said Melanie Higueros, a senior at Rochelle Township High School. “It was really cool seeing all the teachers and everyone having fun.”
Along with all of the performances, there were many of prizes awarded in random drawings. For each nine weeks of perfect attendance, a student’s name was entered into the prize giveaway jar.
“We have gift certificates to Magic Waters, we have theater tickets, and we have gift cards to almost all of the fast food places in Rochelle, said Pillen. “But our biggest prize is a car.”
The big highlight each year is the car giveaway. This year a silver, 2009, Chevy Cobalt was donated by Jeff Perry Chevrolet, which is carrying on the tradition started by Dan Sawicki when the program began. The same dealership has been donating a car every year for the last 20 years.
“It feels great, my kids and I came up through the school,” said Mike Myers, dealership general manager. “So, it’s nice to give back to the community.”
This year’s winner, Alyssa Summers, was taken completely by surprise when she heard her name called as the grand prize winner.
“It feels pretty cool, I don’t usually get my name called for a lot of things,” said Alyssa Summers, a senior at Rochelle Township High School. “I got my name called twice today and I was like woah.”
Summers said the car definitely come in handy this summer.
“I’m going on a vacation in the beginning of June, down to Gatlinburg, said Summers. “So, maybe we will drive it there.”
The annual end of the year renaissance assembly has become a tradition that the students look forward each year. During a time where finals can be stressful, the program serves a good way for students to take a break and be recognized for their hard work.
“I feel that it is kind of relieving for a lot of students,” said Higueros. “It helps, and it can be fun.”