A lot has changed for young women and the Tipp City schools during the past 70-plus years, but one constant has been the tradition of the Senior Girls’ Tea.
This year’s tea – the 73rd annual version – was held April 27 at St. John the Baptist Church with senior girls joined by their mothers and hosted by the Community Minded Women organization.
Danielle Carter, who has attended the Tipp City schools since first grade, said she enjoyed the event.
“I liked it a lot. I am glad that they do something for senior girls,” said Danielle, who plans to study social work at Wilmington College.
Her mother, Anne, also was on hand.
“I think this was great wrap up to the year end. Being my first out the nest it was really, really good to be able to celebrate this achievement with her,” Anne Carter said as the girls gathered for a group photo at the conclusion of the afternoon tea.
“We celebrate this day as a tradition of Tipp City, as a way to show appreciation to those moms who have helped us grow, to those teachers that have been there to educate us and to show the younger women today that you are empowered,” said Tania Smith, a Community Minded Women member. “You have the best example sitting next to you, your mom. So, don’t forget that.”
The event included music by the senior girls’ choir, a poem read by Ashleigh Hood, a slide show featuring photos of the girls in the class of 2017 before and during their school years, and a reading of the book “Yay, You” presented by Melissa Poffenberger, kindergarten teacher at Nevin Coppock Elementary. Poffenberger said this class is the first of girls she had as kindergarten students to graduate.
The speaker was Rachel Murray, consumer affairs reporter for WHIO-TV in Dayton. Murray explained how she worked for several years in radio before transitioning her career to also include TV reporting around three years ago.
She spoke about things she has learned in her career.
Among her tips: Be open to adapting to change including those in technology. “Not only learn but embrace and employ them,” Murray said.
She also encouraged the young women to be willing to take risks. “Sometimes an opportunity will come along and you need to close your eyes and jump,” she said, adding she was at first overwhelmed by moving to TV.
Another tip from Murray was to include balance in life. “I remember being your age and looking at all the requirements (of college),” she said, urging the young women to leave time to destress and to take care of themselves. That time could include taking a walk, playing a video game, making “a good primal scream” or enjoying a book, she said.
In addition, Murray said, “You can’t take yourself too seriously. You have to have fun … Take that vacation.”
And, finally, she encouraged the seniors to hug their moms and tell them they love them. “As you get older, you will appreciate them more and more,” Murray said.
Schools Superintendent Gretta Kumpf told the young women that it is important for women to value and support each other.
“Together we must applaud our successes, celebrate our accomplishments, champion our cause … With your classmates as well as new friendships you will build … share one another’s dreams and passions, encourage each other … respect differences and celebrate what they teach us,” Kumpf said.
“Build up each other. Each of you is special and unique. Each of us has individual strengths … be proud of that,” she added. “Surround yourself with women who appreciate you, believe in you and make you feel confident.”