On February 3, 2016, world class high school football players officially signed with the four year university that has successfully recruited them to come to play for their school. It is an event celebrated by the country as a whole, and thanks to ESPN, it has become must-see-tv event for college football fans and athletes alike. These athletes have earned numerous accolades for their prowess on the football field and the impact of their exploits under the “Friday Night Lights” take on cult hero status.
There is little doubt where the priorities of our nation lie. However, as a Jostens Renaissance school, Monrovia High School has taken on the challenge of celebrating all of their graduating seniors who have made a commitment to a post-secondary education. “Sign on the Line” was created at MHS five years ago in an effort to celebrate the ACADEMIC achievement of their students and make each of these academic superstars feel like their effort and determination in the classroom is important in the eyes of their school community.
Beginning in March, the MHS Renaissance program begins setting up “Signing” events at lunch. As seniors make their official commitments to their academic life after graduation, they sign up for a day to be celebrated. The Renaissance leadership students take it from there. Parents, community leaders, school board members, and the Staffulty of MHS gather together in the center of campus at lunch for this momentous event. Each student has a signing table decorated in their school’s colors complete with pennants and balloons. A signature page is printed for them to sign along with the school principal.
The purpose of this event is to accomplish two goals. The first goal is to celebrate the student and their family. The Renaissance Coordinator, Paul Dols, takes this opportunity to talk about each student briefly and shares with the gathering crowd what the student will be studying and some fun facts about the school that was chosen. This is a great photo op for families and friends as well. The second goal is the location of the event and equally important. The event is strategically placed where most of the student body can see so that ALL students grasp the importance of academic success at Monrovia High School. Every attempt is made to draw a large crowd of underclassmen to the event so that they can witness the celebration of learning.
This coming spring, the Renaissance program is taking on the challenge to celebrate students attending junior colleges, trade schools, and those who have chosen to serve our country in the military.
It is important to state that the Renaissance program does not seek to lessen the importance of success in interscholastic athletics. We take pride and joy in the success of our student athletes at MHS as well. The Sign on the Line event is designed to simply place the academic success back on the plane that it belongs. It should be the primary focus of every school community. MHS Renaissance takes pride in this long-standing ritual and tradition.
Renaissance Coordinator and Senior Class Advisor
Monrovia High School in Monrovia, CA