by Julia Ann Friedman –
Every year just before school starts in the fall, it is tradition that the seniors at Sleepy Hollow High School paint “the rock.” This tradition started many years ago and has encouraged more and more school spirit and class pride each year. The rock is located right next to the football field, and it is a main attraction during the annual homecoming football game.
Typically, the seniors decorate the rock with their graduation year on the front, and they fill the back with sports team names, friend group names, or their own personal symbols of what Sleepy Hollow means to them. The Class of 2017 even included the initials (in hearts) of four former Sleepy Hollow students who sadly passed away before making it to graduation.
Sara Friedman, a 2015 Sleepy Hollow High School graduate, said, “Decorating the rock really kicked off senior year; it brought us together as a class and made it feel real that we were seniors.” Students see the rock and are reminded of the close-knit bond they have with their classmates.
Sleepy Hollow has great school spirit, and the rock only intensifies that spirit and makes the students feel like they are all part of a community – not just people who go to school together. Decorating the rock is described by Diego Arias, a 2017 Sleepy Hollow graduate, as “a rite of passage” and “a cool way of leaving a mark on Sleepy Hollow.”
At the end of each year, it is a bittersweet goodbye, as the graduating class knows that it is the incoming seniors’ turn to decorate the rock.