As seniors walked towards the Beck Family Innovation Center (BFIC) decorations filled their eyes with joy. The annual senior countdown dinner was hosted on Sunday, Feb. 26 to celebrate 82 days left until commencement. 

Maclay mom’s spent a lot of time planning and decorating to make this event memorable for the class of 2023. The first event of the night broke the ice and got hips moving. Senior band “Trippin’ Flow” performed a few songs for their fellow classmates. The members of “Trippin’ Flow” are seniors Jackson Kottkamp, Vic Vickers, Jack DeRosier and Caleb Heuchan. After the performance dinner began.

“My favorite part from the performance was when everyone started dancing and singing with us on our improved encore of Tennessee Whiskey,” Vickers said. “That was really a special moment.” 

Students joined inside Langford Hall and had the following food options catered by Black Fig: salad, chicken piccata, green beans, mashed potatoes and a roll. As the seniors received their food they could see various photos of childhood memories on the wall, and as they ate dinner, a slideshow was put on with background music presenting more photos. 

After dinner, the seniors enjoyed cupcakes and smarties for dessert. Head of School James Milford also spoke to congratulate the seniors and introduce the guest speakers. Middle school science teacher Cameron Barton and upper school academic adviser Angela Croston talked about the wonderful memories they have witnessed as the class of 2023 has grown up. To finish off the event inside Langford Hall, each senior took a turn to present to their classmates where they planned to go to college, what they planned to major in and their favorite memory from Maclay. 

“My favorite event was seeing all the photos of everyone from different ages and fun moments in life,” senior Heaven Ward said. “It’s really just funny and also a nice way to reminisce seeing as we’ve all grown so much and while things change with time, there will be some things that always stay the same.”

For the final few moments, the senior took a group photo at the entrance of the BFIC, enjoyed a bonfire in the parking lot with marshmallows and headed back over to the biggest hit of the night, “Trippin’ Flow.” Seniors danced, clapped and sang in unison until the band couldn’t sing anymore. 

“[My favorite part was] definitely when the band played at the end, they were great and it was a sweet moment,” senior Myriel Byfield said. “The bond between everyone just felt really strong. Everyone was very supportive and we were all having fun. I’m seeing that happen more as we get closer to graduating, but it’s still very special whenever everyone comes together to share a moment like that.”

SOURCECover Courtesy of Riley Elliot
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RJ Hosay is the Online Editor-in-Chief. RJ previously led the sports writing team. Every writer on the team received the All-Florida award from the Florida Scholastic Press Association in 2022 which is unprecedented in Andalusian history. RJ has received multiple FSPA All-Florida Awards during his tenure. He also served as the business manager of the newspaper. RJ is a Maclay Scholar Athlete and serves as Captain of Maclay’s varsity soccer team. He is also a multi-year letterman on the weightlifting team. RJ works as a licensed soccer referee and is a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer. Outside of the Andalusian and a rigorous academic schedule, you can find him spending time outdoors, working with his yellow lab or with his family and friends.