Class of 2022 presents Kanye West Graduation album cover as their hand wall design


Claire LeDuc

In the cafeteria, senior Grace Fassler paints the class of 2022 hand wall design. Every year, senior graduates leave their handprints on the design made for their class. “Eva Frankum is helping me with this with design. Her and I went to Home Depot, and we picked out 10 different paint samples that we wanted, and Dr. Piffel went out and got it for us,” Fassler said.

When you walk into the cafeteria, years of bright and colorful designs catch your eye. Each year, the graduating senior class leaves their handprints on the cafeteria wall within a scene that the class votes upon. This year, senior principal Kate Piffel confirmed the class of 2022 design based on Kanye West’s “Graduation” album. 

“I love the handprint concept. When I came here, it was new, but I love the tradition. Each year, the kids get to do it using their voices. I think it’s a great idea,” Piffel said. 

Students submitted designs in December to Piffel, and four finalists were narrowed down to one. The St. Louis Arch centered by an ombre background with graduation spelled below. Due to snow days, senior Grace Fassler found getting the design done on time stressful. 

“Blending the colors is harder than I thought it would be. Coming down during the day so that I can and go out to my car to get my paint clothes and bring them back [to paint] is so much easier said than done,” Fassler said. 

Although the senior class voted on the design, senior Harper Dollarhide disagreed with a majority of the voters. 

“It’s not my favorite design. I feel as though it’s not unique to our class. The other classes have designs that say something about them. [The class of 2018] did the solar eclipse because that happened during their senior year. Ours isn’t relevant to our grade because this album didn’t come out this year. I would feel differently if the album came out this year, but it didn’t,” Dollarhide said. 

Kanye West has produced 14 albums, winning a Grammy award for Best Rap Album and making his media presence a pop-cultural icon. The album “Graduation” was released in 2007. 

“I think he’s a big pop culture influence but not in an influential way [like] a politician [who] would advocate for change. Instead, he feels like more of a novelty figure in that he almost acts as a joke in pop culture and among people,” Dollarhide said. 

Although a minority of seniors don’t agree with this design, senior Ashton Beattie is excited to see the design’s outcome. 

“[The senior hand wall design] was a great idea. [Kanye West] is one of the most genius artists ever. His album covers are always appealing, and it’s nice to know that one of his album covers will represent our class hand wall,” Beattie said. 

Fassler believes the senior class left a humorous message to represent their year for future generations to see. 

“[Kanye West’s] media presence is hilarious. Nothing is changing the design from what he has been posting, but personally, it’s hilarious to me. There’s no better way to describe the year 2022 than a Kanye West painting in our school cafeteria,” Fassler said.