A mid-Michigan high school is celebrating the class of 2022 ahead of the start of the new school year.

First day of classes for Freeland High School starts on Monday and parents have found a creative way to welcome students.

The past two school years have been anything but normal. Freeland High School parents, like Beth Deleeuw, are making the last first day for their seniors stand out.

"Decorating her parking spot," Deleeuw said.

The first day of school is important to some students.

"This year they're going back to school in person, they will not have to be masked, so she's very excited to go through the normal senior things this year," Deleeuw said.

At about 7 a.m. Monday, the first thing Freeland seniors will see when they pull into their parking spot, is the design their parents left for them.

The designs and phrases include their favorite animal, words of encouragement and their names. It's a Freeland tradition, but this year it means a little more than previous years.

"She's my oldest daughter, and it's a tradition at Freeland to do the chalk. We're rookies, brand new at this, but we thought we'd surprise her tomorrow morning on her first day," said Mary Collier, Freeland High School mom.

Both mothers are looking forward to the experiences a typical high school year brings like sports.

“Just seeing her compete. She's a cross country runner, she performs in the band, and she's track and field, so she's a sprinter as well," Collier said.

Deleeuw said the pandemic has made them look forward to and appreciate the little things.

“She's really just hoping to have a normal year. That sounds kind of sad, but she just wants to be able to participate in everything that she can. Go to homecoming, have the football games, go to prom, all those special things," Deleeuw said.

Copyright 2021 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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