IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WZMQ) – Students from rival high schools, Kingsford and Iron Mountain, are embracing a unique tradition to mark their last first day of school. As dawn breaks on a new academic year, a new ritual known as the “Senior Sunrise” is capturing the attention of these senior classes, fostering unity in the midst of their competition.
For Kingsford’s senior class, including notable students like Bryonna Sanders, Adeleine McRoberts, Cardel Morton, and Eli Wallis, the concept of a Senior Sunrise is a fresh approach to commemorating their final year.
“We’re gonna get at the field, probably about a half an hour before the sunrise with blankets and like some food, stuff like that,” announced Bryonna Sanders from the stadium seats about the Kingsford seniors’ plans for back to school. There was a mention that the school principal might be bringing some donuts.
As Kingsford Senior Class President Adelaide McRoberts explained, the idea was inspired by trends on social media platforms like TikTok.
The influence of Tiktok, McRoberts suggests, has played a substantial role in shaping their innovative approach. She got inspired with friends, then pitched the idea to the school Principal, David Lindbeck, during a student council meeting to discuss homecoming ideas.
“When the class of 2023 were seniors, I’ve seen a lot of TikToks and Pinterest ideas about it,” McRoberts explained. “We wanted to be really inclusive with our class and try to do as many things as a class, considering that we’re seniors,” she added.
Meanwhile, Iron Mountain Senior McKinlee Peterson and her classmates are reviving memories of their past. Peterson describes how they plan to return to the place where it all began: their elementary school. “The senior sunrise is the day of school, so you go to where you went to elementary school, a last memory before you start school,” Peterson explains. Iron Mountain’s Senior Sunrise will coincide with their actual first day of school, taking place at North Elementary school, allowing them to reflect on the journey they’ve undertaken.
The ideal, while novel to some, has gained momentum in the community. Eli Wallis, a varsity football player from Kingsford, emphasizes his committment to the tradition, noting that he’s never even heard of a Senior Sunrise before. Adelaide McRoberts, however, hopes this new custom will spread to other classes, making it an enjoyable way to inaugurate the school year. Cardel Morton is open to participating, saying, “If duty calls, I’ll show up,” hinting at the strong camaraderie that has emerged among the seniors.
As the two schools prepare for their respective Senior Sunrises, the anticipation is palpable. Kingsford’s Senior Sunrise is scheduled Sunday morning at 5am central on the Flivver football field. Iron Mountain seniors, on the other hand, will experience their Senior Sunrise on the actual first day of school, Wednesday morning at North Elementary School. This unique tradition promises to create core memories for these students as they journey into their final year of high school.