A brisk wind blows through the trees every morning now as I make my way along the acorn-dotted roads to Lawrence Woodmere Academy (LWA).
The school year is swiftly underway and the atmosphere is busy but optimistic, with students juggling coursework, sports games, clubs and activities. The cheerful productivity absolutely thrives in all of fall’s autumnal glory, and is almost as palpable as the crisp breeze that hints at exciting things to come.
And boy, are there exciting things coming up at LWA! In particular, the annual homecoming festivities are on everyone’s mind, with the date set for Oct. 20.
Homecoming here is a very special occasion. Upon my first time participating last year, I was astounded by all of the amazing booths and activities lined up for the event. Like a public school, LWA kicks off its Homecoming with a game, but that’s about where the similarities end. For one, in lieu of the typical football game it’s a soccer game (versus arch-rival Portledge), fervently cheered on by the scores of attending fans.
Afterwards one is confronted with the daunting variety of food options, from the mouth-watering barbeque and grill to the classic cotton candy and pretzel machines to the cornucopia of baked goods destined to destroy any sweet tooth. I myself devoured nearly half my weight in cheesecake last October, and am eagerly, albeit guiltily, looking forward to doing so again this year.
Other than dining, there are countless entertaining events to join, including face-painting, pong toss, a petting zoo, goldfish adoption, and the ever-popular wedding booth. The students run the booths to fundraise for their respective grades, working multiple shifts to raise money for events such as Prom and the presentation of the Senior Gift planned later in the year. Although LWA lacks some of the things a bigger school might have (i.e. the aforementioned football team), it is never lacking in the school spirit that inspires wonderful celebrations such as Homecoming weekend.
As we approach Homecoming this year, we are especially mindful of what the occasion represents. In welcoming back our alumni, we pay tribute to the legacy of our school and realize the profundity of our common experience.
LWA links us all as one body of people, and the knowledge that an institution can bring such unity is stirring and quite remarkable. It inspires a lot of pride to be part of such a community, and even more excitement to show off this pride.
To commemorate the 100th year of our school, a helicopter arrived on a sunny, Monday morning to take a picture of all of the staff and the students, from the Pre-K all the way up to the Upper School seniors, in a large “100” formation.
Despite the sun’s glare, we beamed up at the helicopter as it captured us in a still-frame of our school’s history. I guess you can say that on that day, excitement was literally in the air for LWA and the future.