Mira Costa High kicks off new year with ‘Senior Sunrise’

More than 200 students showed up for the Mira Costa Senior Sunrise, a new tradition launched by Principal Karina Gerger. Photos by JP Cordero

Mira Costa ASB president Trevor Verbiest, center, with ASB vice president Natalie Lynch and ASB activities chair Kimiya Torabi.

by Mark McDermott 

A miracle occurred early Wednesday morning. It wasn’t just the fact that Mira Costa High was kicking off a new school year in the midst of a global pandemic, or even the oddity that tables stocked with dozens of doughnuts went largely untouched in the midst of more than 200 teenagers. The miracle was how those teenagers showed up on campus by 6:15 a.m., most with smiles on their faces. 

The Mira Costa Senior Sunrise, the first of what new MCHS Principal Karina Gerger hopes will become a tradition, brought together the Class of 2022 in a spirit of celebration. 

“It’s definitely good to be back,” said Trevor Verbiest, an MCHS senior and president of the school’s Associated Student Body. 

“I was just very excited for the turnout,” Gerger said. “We had a large group that came together. They definitely deserve to have an amazing year. I told them not to take any day for granted. Last year was an experience like no other. This is the year to go big.” 

The motto for the year was festooned on a banner across Waller Stadium. It read, “Saddle Up —  It’s the Costa Comeback.” Students wore T-shirts emblazoned with the same words, with “Saddle Up” on the front. Verbiest, ASB vice president Natalie Lynch, and ASB activities chair Kimiya Torabi all gave speeches, as did Gerger. 

“It meant the world for me to have all these students come saddle up and be there,” Gerger said. “It was a great way to kick off the school year, being on campus together, building school spirit and excitement for the new year.” 

Verbiest’s message was short and sweet. He told his classmates that the difficulties of being apart last year make what is important during this, their final year together, very clear —  to focus on how good it is to be with your friends and teachers. 

“We are in the midst of a pandemic,” Verbiest said. “I just hope this year we can be kind to each other after what we have all gone through, and all the insane changes. We got a little bit of a summer break. Now, everyone is here, together.”  

Gerger likewise said that the experience of living through a pandemic brought into stark relief what matters. She urged students to make the most of every day in what will likely be the fastest year of their lives. 

“You take time for granted and then it’s gone and you think ‘Oh my gosh, what did I do? Time went by and I sat on the sidelines,’” Gerger said. “This is your year to do it. 

“Saddle up, seniors,” she said. “You are the Costa comeback. Lead by example.” 

More than 200 students showed up for the Mira Costa Senior Sunrise, a new tradition launched by Principal Karina Gerger. Photos by JP Cordero

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