Committee celebrates high school seniors
By Alex Piscatelli
A group of parents are determined to give their kids a great senior high school experience, despite an unprecedented school year.
The Scripps Ranch Senior Parent Committee is made up of parent volunteers who work to prepare events for Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS) class of 2021.
Jody Luke created the committee in September once she realized the school district wasn’t going to hold events for seniors due to COVID-19.
“It didn’t seem like anyone was advocating for kids … That kind of broke my heart right away,” Luke said. “I think at that point I felt like I had to do something.”
Luke, the mother of a SRHS senior, a freshman and a sixth grader, called other parents she knew to form the committee.
Now, the committee is 15 members strong, with 250 members in their Facebook group.
Luke’s goal with the committee is to support and celebrate seniors.
“I think senior year is a really pivotal time in someone’s life,” Luke said. “This was supposed to be their time to be leaders and captains and role models, and they found themselves at home, in front of the computer all day with no activities and no sports.”
The committee’s first event was lighting the SRHS football stadium for 20 minutes and 21 seconds in the fall when football season was normally held.
“It doesn’t seem like a huge thing, but it was a big deal,” Luke said. “It was something that said, ‘Hey seniors. We see you, we recognize the loss, but we want to support you.’”
During homecoming week, the committee partnered with Scripps Ranch restaurants to organize a seniors’ restaurant week. Ten restaurants participated by giving seniors a discount.
In November 2020, the committee put together an event for seniors to paint parking spots. Painting spots is a tradition normally held as a fundraiser, and this year the committee ensured it was COVID-safe. Since the SRHS campus was off-limits, seniors were allowed to paint parking spots in the Scripps Miramar Ranch Library parting lot.
“I heard of someone, once their grandparents got the vaccine, they took them down to see their senior parking spot,” Luke said. “I don’t know if they would have done that (otherwise).”
Other events the committee put on include a senior drive-in night at the Santee Drive In Theater, a Starbucks Falcon drink, connecting the high school seniors to senior citizens at The Glen at Scripps Ranch Retirement through letters and more.
Luke said it’s been cool to see the community come together for the seniors.
“It speaks to the testament of the families of Scripps Ranch that where they see a need, people just step up,” she said.
Their upcoming events include powderpuff football, a senior picture with a drone and a graduation parade.
“We knew this was going to be challenging from day one,” Luke said. “All these parents have come together to say, ‘Let’s not just watch and wait and see, but be a part of a solution and make some memories for our kids.’”
Luke said the students are grateful they have not been forgotten.
“The amount of gratitude we’ve gotten from seniors and families has been satisfying,” she said. “But that’s not why we did it. We did it because there’s a need, and Scripps Ranch families rise to the challenge when there’s a need.”