Updated: May 22, 2019 06:19 PM
It was an exciting day for Proctor High School seniors as they made a special visit to their former elementary schools Wednesday to celebrate their last days of high school with elementary kids and former teachers.
Proctor's 120 graduating seniors visited Pike Lake Elementary School and Bay View Elementary School.
"I'm really proud of seeing them and come back and celebrate their years back in Proctor and wish them well as they move on,” Gina Cole, the director of curriculum and learning for Proctor Public Schools, said.
Cole said she taught fifth grade to some of the Proctor seniors who were at Bayview Elementary School to celebrate their upcoming graduation. She said this day brings back a lot of memories.
"When you're a teacher, those students become your family. It’s fun to see them grow up and have dreams and visions and go on into the world and become members of society,” Cole said.
“I saw a lot of my other teachers that I had when I was in elementary school so it was cool to hug them and let them know how far I’ve gone,” Kayla Little, a Proctor High School Senior, said.
Proudly wearing their green caps and gowns, Proctor seniors were reliving their elementary school days as they walked down the hallways where they grew up one last time.
"Seeing all the teachers, they are all crying. We've known them since we were little and grew up with them so they're seeing us graduate and feel accomplished because we've done what we needed to do,” Kaley Towers, a Proctor High School Senior, said.
As they walked down the school, the Proctor seniors high-fived hundreds of excited elementary students who were thrilled to see them, realizing they were once those same students greeting seniors in the hallways.
"We can kind of show off that we're graduating to the younger kids. It was cool to go back and see all the classrooms and stuff," Zach Gunderson, a Proctor High School Senior, said.
"I remember seeing the seniors walk through our hallways when I was in elementary school. It's cool to share that experience with the rest of the community,” Little said.
Proctor seniors also said they realized they're setting an example for the future generations of graduating seniors.
"It's cool to know that there’s little kids that look up to us and see what they can do one day and be role models to them,” Towers said.
The reunion was a bittersweet yet unique way for Proctor seniors to close a chapter of their life as they begin a new one. It was a moment of reflection, showing how far they've gone and how far they'll go after graduating.
"It's kind of overwhelming with all the different emotions. You're super excited and super happy but at the same time you get a little choked up for some parts like seeing all your elementary teachers crying when you're walking through,” Briahna Bryant, a Proctor High School Senior, said.
”It’s definitely exciting, kind of nerve-racking to see that time is winding down but it’s really special to see all the kids and even the elementary school teachers,” Gunderson said.
Afterwards, the graduating class gathered at Proctor's Sports & Event Center for a photo shoot. They were wearing red noses to promote Red Nose Day, a partnership with the West Duluth Walgreens to bring awareness of the Red Nose program, which focuses on raising money to keep children safe, healthy, and educated in America and across the world.
The Proctor High School class of 2019 will graduate on June 2. The commencement will be held in the Orchestra Hall at the DECC.
Updated: May 22, 2019 06:19 PM
Created: May 22, 2019 03:53 PM
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