TAYLOR, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — It’s graduation season and the students and staff at Riverside School District have a special tradition to mark their accomplishments.
Thursday morning graduating seniors from Riverside Junior-Senior High School walked hand in hand with graduating kindergarten students through the halls of Riverside Elementary West, as other students waved and held up signs that read “Congrats grads.”
This full-circle moment means just as much to the staff as it does to the graduating senior. The principal of Riverside Elementary West, Nicole Vanluvender, says they look forward to this rare opportunity every year.
“It’s very rare that we get to see them especially back at the K to 2 building. They change so much from when we have seen them when they were just babies coming in. So it really is wonderful for both the seniors that are graduating and the staff to be able to see them and give them that sendoff that they’ve worked so hard for and that they deserve,” said Vanluvender.
The tradition also gives the kindergarten graduates positive role models to look up to.
“Especially as valedictorian and being involved in so many clubs I just want to encourage the kids to really get involved in the community and to do well in their studies,” said graduating senior Jennifer Genell.
“We started this a number of years ago and it truly; a lot of tears, a lot of happy tears are in this event and from our teachers from our faculty and staff right down to the kindergarten kids and our beloved graduates,” said Superintendent Paul Brennan.
High school seniors took a walk down memory lane Thursday as they said goodbye to Riverside West.
“It was bittersweet, happy, and very nostalgic and a little sad to be leaving it all behind but also hopeful for the future that Riverside really prepared me to go after,” Genell added.
Genell says she will be attending the University of Pittsburgh where she will study neuroscience before heading to medical school.
The students also visited Riverside Elementary East in Moosic on Thursday.
The students started their walk at Riverside Elementary East in Moosic and the staff says they certainly look forward to doing this again next year with their graduating classes.