North Farmington High School seniors Erin Sawyer, left, Ciera Smith, center, and Andrea Bahm show off their wacky student ID photos Sept. 28 at the school.

North Farmington High School seniors Erin Sawyer, left, Ciera Smith, center, and Andrea Bahm show off their wacky student ID photos Sept. 28 at the school.

Photo by Deb Jacques

NFHS seniors get silly with student ID photos

By: Sherri Kolade | Farmington Press | Published October 2, 2018


FARMINGTON HILLS — North Farmington High School seniors have gone viral — again. 

The Class of 2019, like classes before them, took popular culture to another level and posed for their student ID photos dressed as memes, TV characters and more.  

NFHS’ 329 seniors had the opportunity recently to have their senior ID photos taken at the school, and the feedback was on a worldwide level. 

“It’s really remarkable — you’re brightening people’s day in Russia, in Canada, in France, in England,” Principal Joe Greene said Sept. 28. “Like, we’ve been all over national, international news, and you make people’s lives brighter. … You guys did that,” he said to a group of students.

From retweets by the thousands to news articles, famous shout-outs and emails to the school, many of the students were given online pats on the back for their silly but thoughtful photo expressions. 

Senior Erin Sawyer dressed as Miss Frizzle, a teacher on the cartoon show “The Magic School Bus.”

Her picture, which included a costume and school bus props, garnered her 43,000 likes.

“I thought (the idea) was really fun,” she said, adding that she already had the bus props; her mother was on one side holding a piece up, and Greene was on the other side.

“Senior year? SEATBELTS EVERYONE!!!#NFID19,” Sawyer’s Twitter account states of the photo.

Another student who dressed up received 60,000 likes, Sawyer said, adding that she had to turn off her notifications.

The students said that sometimes they also instructed the student ID photographers to resize the photos a certain way to give them visual impact or to achieve an effect.

Greene said that this is NFHS’ sixth year doing the ID photos.

 Senior class president Ciera Smith dressed as a meme of a man wearing glasses and a knowing smile.

On Sept. 13, she posted her photo on Twitter with the original photo next to it and a caption: “When you scam your way into senior year #NFID19.”

“I chose mine the day before,” she said. “Usually, since our pictures go viral, I wanted to do something that would go crazy on Twitter — that would get a lot of retweets and relikes,” she said. “People are saying this is the best one.”

She said the man behind the original photo retweeted her.

“He commented on it, like, ‘Wow, that is incredible.’”

She added that “it’s kind of silly, like a reaction photo,” Smith said. 

She had received just over 17,000 likes as of Sept. 28 and “a lot of retweets.”

“I didn’t know it was going to blow up the way it did,” she said.

Senior Andrea Bahm dressed up as Veronica Lodge, a main character in the the CW show “Riverdale,” part of the Archie Comics franchise, according to

“I was her for Halloween last year,” she said, adding that people say she looks like the actress who plays Veronica, Camila Mendes.

“I bought the shirt and wore the pearls,” Bahm said of the character’s outfit, noting that the verified Twitter account of Archie Comics quoted her tweet and wrote “well done.”

Greene said that while not too many students dressed as political figures this year — more pop culture — someone dressed up as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, affectionately known as “Notorious R.B.G.,” a reference to Notorious B.I.G., aka Biggie Smalls.

“She’s huge with the young generation,” Bahm said.

Greene said he thinks she is a “pretty consistent role model” who gets better with time.

Bahm said the class was pretty much aiming toward the Twitter crowd, the younger crowd.

However, timeless pop culture references in the student ID photos included characters from “Legally Blonde,” “Back to the Future” and “The Office.”

“I thought you had one of the most diverse spreads,” Greene said to the students.

Smith, who runs the class Twitter page, said some commenters wrote that they can’t believe the school administrators allow students to get away with those photos.

She said the fact that Greene trusts the students enough to do that speaks volumes.

Greene said that every year, the seniors and staff talk about leadership.

“That means we need to have some trust here,” he said, adding that there are parameters for the photos: Students’ faces have to be recognizable, the costumes can’t be offensive or mocking, and they have to pick something positive.

“This is the senior final exam,” he said. “Can you represent yourself in a way … powerfully?”

He said that some people might “tiptoe up to the line or dangle a toe” over the line with their costumes, but the students have “never failed” the test.

Sawyer said the photos started a conversation about what a positive school culture looks like. She said it looks like hardworking students who have fun.

“In that way, a lot of people are really inspired,” she said. “It is fun and makes it fun for us, makes it fun for administration, and paints our school in a positive light.” 

Smith said dressing up and taking the photos brought the class together even more.

“There is a lot of energy,” Greene said.