When looking at RHS, it is clear to see the quirks that make it unique. Following its tradition of excellence, RHS fights against societal norms in order to provide an even more memorable experience to its students. Take the prom for example. How many schools can say that their prom is on a boat? Although the location for prom may sound daunting to some, traditional celebrations may seem too ordinary. Nearly every other school party is held in a building, so why not make prom special? Having a unique prom celebration is important in giving Ridgewood High School students a memorable high school experience.
Furthermore, today’s graduation traditions consists of students lining up in alphabetical order, dressed in a cap and gown. Students anxiously wait for the moment to throw their caps into the air signifying their graduation from school. However, Ridgewood High School protects its traditions that started back in the 1800s. According to Mr. Pizzuto, high school graduation traditions normally consisted of tuxedos and dresses. The only thing that Ridgewood High School does is that it keeps the tradition going.
At Ridgewood High School, students gather at the cafeteria during the last period of the day, watching the clock until it hits 2:50 PM and counting down the last few seconds of their high school careers. The excitement that builds up during this time is similar to that of the throwing of the caps in “traditional” modern graduations. The graduation ceremony at Ridgewood High School also differs from that of the average high school in that students line up in pairs according to height. Students dressed in white tuxedos and dresses walk down the high school field as they are called one by one.
Furthermore, after the graduation, students file in on a bus and take a trip to Benjamin Franklin Middle School — a familiar location for many Ridgewood students. A committee of Ridgewood parents gather in an effort to set up a unique graduation party for the seniors that is called “Project Graduation”. Although the theme of the event changes every year, there are always the nostalgic memories brought by the baby pictures and senior quotes. In this final gathering of Ridgewood seniors, the students realize how far they have come together over the course of many years.
So what is the motivation to be so unique? By having a graduation tradition unlike any other high school, it gives RHS students a unique story. The graduation tradition at RHS sparks a new flare in something that is so strict in today’s society. It allows for people that attend Ridgewood High School to have something special to talk about. Having a unique graduation tradition also gives Ridgewood High School students a more memorable graduation. According to Mr. Pizzuto, many Ridgewood alumni return to talk positively about the graduation routine. In addition, Ridgewood is set apart from other high schools through its graduation traditions.
Graphic: Tess Cundiff