Above, administrators show their school spirit during College Signing Day event at the STEM Academy of Hollywood.

High school seniors ‘picture’ themselves as college students during a Signing Day rally in Local District West.

Fulfilling Superintendent Michelle King’s goal of preparing graduates for college and careers, Local District West recently held its inaugural College Signing Day, encouraging youngsters to envision a post-secondary education and celebrating seniors who are headed to college in the fall.

Local District West administrators organized bus tours that took them to 16 campuses, where elementary, middle and high school students rallied in support of their classmates. School Board President Steve Zimmer and Local District West Superintendent Cheryl Hildreth were among the dignitaries who participated in the event.

“College Signing Day provided an awesome opportunity for District leadership, administrators, staff, parents and community members to celebrate the academic accomplishments of our college- and career-bound scholars,” said Dr. Darnise Williams, the Administrator of Instruction for Local District West, who launched the Signing Day event during her previous position as School Services director in Local District Central.

“By recognizing students, we also honor the commitment of many K-12 educators who consistently deliver high-quality educational programs,” she said. “For that we are extremely fortunate and grateful.”

Local District West encourages even its youngest students to get on the college track during a Signing Day rally.

Traditionally, Signing Day spotlights student-athletes who sign a letter of intent to compete for a college or university. Local District West expanded that celebration to all college-bound students who wore gear from their school of choice, and announced their decision to peers, teachers and administrators. Campuses were decorated with college pennants and posters to add to the festivities.

“College Signing Day was a great activity that built trust and camaraderie in our school community,” said Karen Cheval, principal of West Hollywood Community Day School, one of the stops on the tour. “I’m glad we were selected as one of the stops because Options students go to college too!  LD-West officials were dancing and cheering for our students as enthusiastically as we were. One student exclaimed, ‘They really do want us to succeed! They really care because they really look like they enjoy being here.’”

At Crenshaw High, students said Signing Day was a landmark event in their lives.

“Signing Day felt like the day all the seniors were waiting for,” said senior Marquise Bowman. “It made it official that we were finally going off to explore the world.”.

Added classmate Savina Reynolds, “It made me feel like high school is really over and that we are close to starting college,” she said. “Our dreams are finally coming true.”

The other participating schools were Tom Bradley Global Awareness Magnet and Crescent Heights, Saturn Street, West Hollywood Community Day School and Windsor Hills elementary schools; Pio Pico Middle School; and Bernstein, Dorsey, Fairfax, Hamilton, Hawkins, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Middle College, STEM Academy of Hollywood, University, Venice and Washington Preparatory Senior High schools; the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies; and Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnets.

Click here to watch a KLCS-TV video on College Signing Day