Bell Ringing

Recently re-introduced to Aspen High School, the bell-ringing tradition is based upon standing at the top of the commons and ringing the bell for everyone to see. Ringing the bell signifies the commitment to a plan following our years of high school. Whether this decision be college, the workforce, a gap year, or any other widely varying opportunities, ringing this bell is a celebration of both completion and progress.

“After twelve years of school, you deserve to be recognized. It’s a sign of independence; it’s one of the first big choices that we get to make,”Aidan Sunkel, AHS senior, explains.

The bell-ringing tradition can create inclusivity because it is an open opportunity for any senior, and this celebration may allow individuals to be connected with classmates and feel acknowledged in their growth.
The jump from twelve years of high school to choices afterward can be both exciting and nerve-racking to many individuals, but it is worth noting the courage that goes into making these choices. Ringing this bell signifies a sense of growth toward one’s aspirations and general progress toward adulthood. This transition can be mentally challenging yet beneficial to the future growth of individuals.

“I mean for a lot of students they don’t actually get to choose whether they go to college or not because it might be a family expectation…I think it’s important that every student knows that they do have a choice,” Sunkel explained.

It is important for both the underclassmen and surrounding upperclassmen to take time to acknowledge these students and clap when the bell is rang in order to show appreciation. At some point the underclassmen will all become seniors and for some, that same appreciation will be wanted. It is also encouraged to be welcoming of any choice.

While explaining this tradition to individuals in the lunchroom, Co-head Alex Schlosser explained, “When someone rings it, everyone needs to get super excited and congratulate whoever is ringing it…I hope you guys look forward to ringing it when you’re a senior.”

From kindergarten, to 7th grade, to freshman and senior year, every individual in this school has made a unique addition/left a mark on Aspen High School. The ringing of this bell is just one checkpoint for seniors toward the rest of their life.
“I think this tradition should be known to everyone,” Sunkel said.