For the first time in Fairfield schools history, graduating seniors returned to their former elementary schools to parade in cap and gowns through hallways cheering students.
The events Thursday brought back memories for the Butler County teens and their parents, some of whom returned to their children’s old schools to thank teachers who helped them along the way.
At Fairfield West Elementary, dozens of former students walked a gauntlet of high fives and applause.
“We want our (younger) students to see these older kids come through so they can have something to work toward,” said Gina Gentry-Fletcher, spokesperson for the 10,000-student district.
“This is the first time we’ve done this and it’s very exciting for the older and younger kids. There is an excitement in the air celebrating our graduates and all they have accomplished.”
Some other Butler County districts, most notably Lakota, have in recent years adopted a new annual tradition of dressing up graduating seniors in their commencement gowns and caps to parade through their old schools.
Fairfield High School’s graduation is May 25 at Xavier University’s Cintas Center.
Belle Brooks, a fifth-grader at West Elementary, was among the hundreds lining the school’s hallway to applaud the soon-to-be graduates.
“It’s cool to see all these older kids walking and being proud that they are graduating and moving on to adulthood,” she said.
Diana Herrmann remembers her now-senior daughter Rachel when she attended the school earlier in life. For her, the event closed an emotional loop.
“It’s been a long time since she was here but Rachel is so excited to come back to West. There are a lot of fun memories here and she is looking forward to seeing some of the teachers she had years ago.,” Herrmann said.
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