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Early Birds: Seniors Rise and Shine for Annual Tradition


The parking lot was dark as PTA members arrived with breakfast. Parent volunteers set up a buffet line for the seniors to grab a bite to eat as they ponder what’s to come.

Girl takes picture.

Seniors captured special moments during the annual Senior Sunrise.

The annual Senior Sunrise, a tradition started by the Class of 2021, took place bright and early Sunday morning in each high school’s parking lot.

Girls pose for a picture.

Seniors enjoyed the morning with their peers and principal.

“The purpose of the Senior Sunrise is to allow students an opportunity to reflect on their experiences as a student while the sun metaphorically and literally rises on their senior year,” Wylie High School Principal Brian Alexander said. 

Friends hang out.

Seniors hang out as they watch the sun rise on their senior year.

Slowly, the traffic started to trickle in, then all of a sudden the parking lot was full of the Class of 2023. It was 6:30 a.m. and the sun was barely peeking over the horizon.

Girls sit in truck.

Students cozied up to enjoy the sun rise on their senior year.

“I was looking forward to senior sunrise because it was like a ‘kick-off’ to our senior year and I couldn't wait to spend it with my friends,” Wylie High senior Kaitlyn Murphy said. 

Seniors grabbed a bite to eat and a special piece of paper then made their way back to their vehicles. Some brought blankets and chairs and made a cozy spot to snuggle into as they penned letters to themselves.

Girl gets food.

PTA served breakfast to seniors at Senior Sunrise.

“I liked writing the letters, talking about our hopes and dreams that will be presented in our future, and I can't wait to see how it all turns out at the end of the year,” Murphy said.

These letters will be returned to the seniors at the end of the school year when both schools come together at Wylie ISD stadium for Senior Sunset.

Boy writes letter.

Students wrote letters to themselves about their journey through school and expectations of the future.

“I’ve been looking forward to going to senior sunrise since they started it a few years ago,” Wylie East Senior Caroline Johns said. “It was just as fun as I thought it would be. It was a great moment reflecting on the past three years at East with my friends and talking about what we want to happen in the future.” 

Girls smile for a picture.

Friends gathered and took lots of photos with the sunrise.

The rising sun in the background set the stage for seniors to ponder their final year of high school.

Seniors watch the sun rise.

Seniors watch the sun rise on their senior year as they ponder their journey.

“The sunrise was one of the most beautiful I've seen this summer, so that made it even more memorable,” Murphy said.