Annual Signing Day moves outside with celebration-like approach

Bearden’s Annual Signing Day is getting a makeover this year, as it will be held outside on the football field on Thursday.

Although Annual Signing Day has been held outside before, it has been kept indoors for the past six years, likely due to inclement weather. During those past signings, Mrs. Tammy McKibben has experienced the less than pleasant environment herself while monitoring freshmen in the cafeteria.

Based on her experiences, Mrs. McKibben decided to make it her mission to reform Annual Signing Day and went to principal Dr. John Bartlett and the Echo annual staff in order to catalyze the move outside.

“The annual staff works so hard, and it’s a shame when everyone is crowded into [the] Pit or the cafeteria and that shouldn’t just be what annual signing consists of,” Mrs. McKibben said. “Instead, it should be a celebration of our year that we have had at school.”

Besides preventing the crowding long associated with Annual Signing Day, having the event at Bill Young Field will allow all grade levels to commune together.

“We know seniors can be friends with freshmen and juniors can be friends with sophomores, so we thought having all grades together would make it easier for everyone,” Echo staff member Marissa Tarantino said.

Besides the actual signing, various activities have been planned to help promote an end-of-school like atmosphere including music and food. Although not concrete yet, school clubs have been asked to provide booths and the marching band has been asked to perform.

“We are definitely going for a party-like atmosphere that will give everyone some great memories and high expectations for next year,” Echo editor Sydney Gabrielson said.

Annual Signing Day will begin at 2:30 on Thursday, March 24. Although students are allowed to leave at 3, Mrs. McKibben hopes students will want to stay until its end at 3:30.

“The biggest thing to accomplish this year was getting it outside and into the stadium,” Mrs. McKibben said.  “If I could accomplish that, then it would be a success, but really, another goal is to set the bar so Annual Signing Day can grow into a genuine end-of-year celebration.”