By Deandra Han and Jennifer Rico
Summit Rainier is set to close this upcoming summer. With its closure nearing, students and staff are feeling many emotions. Students will have to move schools and continue without their friends, mentor and mentor groups. Meanwhile, Rainier staff has to look for new jobs and potentially move to receive different opportunities.
To celebrate Rainier, the following are descriptions of events and traditions that our community embraced. Students shared some of their favorite memories and recalled some of their favorite moments while attending Rainier.
The camping trip and study trip, for instance, were very important to students and staff in the Rainier community. They allowed the Rainier community to come together and strengthen bonds with each other while enjoying the campuses and fun activities.
To students, these trips allowed them to strengthen friendships and experience camping.
Rainier junior Jaryd Buendia shared, “In all honesty, if it weren’t each class I’ve attended, my favorite memories are when we were off campus, during the camping and study trip. I was very fortunate to have attended these trips as it’s the exploration and other experiences that have enabled me to establish a better group of friends and a more inspired outlook on my college career.”
Rainier sophomore Wanda Santiago added, “When we went to the camping trip, it was a good experience since I never camped out.”
The following is a slideshow of our study trips and camping trips over the years:
Along with off-campus school events, many students enjoyed the memories made in their classrooms.
Buendia recalled a history project where he and his class had to play along and act as if they lived in a world of totalitarianism. He said, “I think one of my favorite memories is when I was in Ms. Ballantyne’s class and we focused on censorship in a totalitarian society. I really enjoyed the entire simulation, even won (despite not having received a prize ;)), as it allowed me to feel more engaged about my learning and collaborate with friends.”
Celebrating spirit days and other events were some ways the Rainier community bonded. Some students even shared some events that took place that were most enjoyable for them.
Rainier freshmen Jose Cervantes said his favorite memory was “during the rally when the students pied Mr. Quezada with whipped cream.”
Rainier sophomore Connor Corona mentioned the annual end-of-year pool party as one of his favorite memories. He said, “My favorite memory of Rainier was the pool party at the end of my freshman year. The bonds that the Rainier community allowed and helped me create provided a great year all around and made the end of the year party my favorite moment to spend with all the friends that I made and got close within the short while the school year operated.”
The following are pictures of students celebrating Spirit and Multi-Cultural Days:
For other students, having mentor groups is what made the Rainier experience unique and memorable. Students were assigned mentor groups for four years, and they have created close relationships over the course of those years.
Rainier junior Hanah Kuo said, “I liked talking and hanging out with my friends whenever we could. There was always time during the day to spend time with your friends and your mentor group, and I valued that time a lot. It was meaningful to me.”
Additionally, Rainier junior Joanna Padilla recalled, “All the laughs my friends and I have had. The connections we built. The funny things random people would say. The turtle walking around the classroom. The times we stole our mentor’s phone to spam her phone with pictures. My favorite memory is my mentor group because even though they may be a constant pain in the butt, they were like my second family.”
Rainier’s small and tight-knit community was what stuck out to a lot of students as their favorite memory. Some shared about the bonds they developed or how they thrived in an environment so small.
Rainier senior Nicholas Sanchez shared, “My favorite memory in Rainier is meeting new friends and getting along with everyone at Rainier.”
“Honestly, I don’t have a favorite moment or memory,” Rainier sophomore Melody Pulido added. “Just being a part of this small community was a really fun and different experience to take part in, and I’m glad I got to experience this journey with you all.”
This slideshow shows students conversing and bonding on campus:
The Rainier community was small but strong. The bonds and friendships that were created were strengthened by the mentor groups, trips, and celebrations that occurred over the years at Rainier. Students and staff now have to say goodbye to those memories made and those friendships created. Even though Rainier will no longer exist, the community is ever-lasting in the hearts of staff and students.