We Liked It, and Put a Ring on It!


Class rings are one of the most traditional and iconic aspects of someone’s high school experience. Whether it’s Danny giving his ring to Sandy in Grease or SEM juniors giving each other rings there is great meaning within that hunk of metal.

The concept of class rings has a 183-year long history in North America. Class rings were first introduced at United States Military Academy at West Point with the idea of having a visual display of the student unity. On Friday, June 18 the members of the Class of 2019 who choose to get a ring stood together in unity.

Jenna Smolarek’19 proudly poses with her new class ring!

Unlike at many schools, SEM students have the unique opportunity to choose and customize their class rings to best reflect their high school experience and personal style. SEM students choose between countless rings: anything from a huge signet ring to a small stone, to the beloved SEM crest to one brought from home. “You can bring in a family ring,” said Junior Class Dean Molly Greene. Those who don’t want to spend money on the rings can also participate in the momentous occasion for the class.

Jacqueline Schanzlin’18 said “I love that we got to choose instead of having a standard ring.” Students love that there is a focus on SEM and how unique SEM is while still managing to share the experience of other high schools. “The other ones are generic but the SEM crest is very SEM specific and I love it,” said Brooke Pohlman’18.

The SEM crest is the most popular design among most classes.  The SEM crest is no longer the official school logo as SEM opted to adopt a more sleek and modern logo for branding purposes. The crest is reserved for special occasions like diplomas and school rings. Kailyn Lane’19 said “I feel the crest means more,” and was excited to receive her SEM crest ring.

“It means sisterhood and I feel like its unique, just like us,” said Ciara Lambert about the SEM crest ring

Friends and classmates Zoe Knauss and Mary Curtin celebrated in the courtyard after the ring ceremony.

The best part of the tradition is arguably the way in which the rings are handed out. SEM students pick a rose at random with a name and ring and a letter connected to it. One by one SEM girls choose a ring and announce which classmate they choose. They then pass along the rose, ring, and letter. The letter contains anonymous praises and memories gathered from the entire class. These letters allow for students to reflect on the impact that each student has had on each other’s lives. “It was kind of hard because there are some people that I am not close with and I did not want them to all be generic,” said Kailyn Lane ’19.

There are students who feel differently about class rings and opt to not buy one. Nia Ellis ’18 said buying a ring would be kind of “pointless because I would not have worn it because I am not a ring person.” Ciara is not an avid ring wearer but she said: “I think I will wear my ring for special occasions because I want to cherish my ring.”

Those who don’t choose to get a ring still have a lovely morning with their peers. The Junior Class Dean Mrs. Greene said “The day is fun for all the juniors because it is a time to reflect on the memories and accomplishments of the past three years.” and “Even if you don’t get a ring everyone receives letters of appreciation from their peers.”


The SEM Class of 2019 sit together and show off their new SEM rings!

The beautiful and classic tradition will continue at SEM for many years and SEM students will continue to be unified as one regardless if they purchase a class a ring or not. “It’s exciting to think about where I will be in my SEM career by the time my ring ceremony comes around,” said Katie Bergstrom ’21.