Up and On Balloons Float…They All Float

When second semester rolls around, Senioritis starts to kick in, colleges have been applied to, mid-year exams are finished and spring break is here. The road to the year’s end begins to clear and seniors watch dozens of balloons float up and onto the board in the main hallway.

Career Center Administrator Eileen Doyle said the balloon board has been a tradition since before she arrived here five years ago and, to her knowledge, earlier than 2004.

“It’s a big tradition here and the students have always loved it, so I’ve continued it,” Doyle said.

Sometime around third quarter, Doyle e-mails all of the seniors inviting them to put their name on a balloon. The students can list themselves under the college they will be attending, military service, work or a gap year. The balloons stay up from early third quarter until the seniors graduate in June.

At this point Doyle said she only has 10% of the senior class, but students do not necessarily have to do it. Doyle does not display the information unless the student comes to her, even if parents ask.

“The balloons are for every student, no matter what they’re doing after high school,” Doyle said. “The students can see what all of their friends are going on to do, or who they’re going to school with.”

The balloons’ separate parts include people and baskets that are all recycled and reused every year and kept in a filing cabinet. She said she has about 300 to 400, so she is often stunned when she finds a college that does not already have a balloon.

“It actually takes a lot of time to organize each balloon and put it up, so I have my volunteers help me most often,” Doyle said.

She said she was brainstorming with the Career Center volunteers for a new post-high school board, but it has been difficult coming up with a shape which fits names and has meaning to the students.  ‘Up and On’ balloon theme will remain until she has a new way to update it, Doyle said.