This year, 400 seniors took their final steps as students of Arcadia High School and will now head off into the next chapter of their lives.
While there are various activities that the seniors partake in to celebrate their graduation – prom, senior breakfast, the parade – a new tradition also took place this year: the grad walk.
On May 13, seniors were invited to visit their elementary and middle schools: Hopi, Echo Canyon, Tavan and Ingleside, to walk the halls and say farewell to the teachers that helped encourage and support them through their educational careers thus far.
The students dressed in full regalia and walked through the main hallways of the four schools while teachers and younger students lined up and cheered on the graduates. Some students even made cards with well wishes for the participating seniors.
“It’s pretty powerful to see a teacher who has been there for decades, see their students come back to them 10-12 years later. To see how they’ve succeeded and made a huge difference in that student’s life,” Principal Cain Jagodzinski said.
Here’s how AHS graduates felt on Grad Walk day:
“It’s important for the kids to see us do this grad walk because it gives them something to look forward to and shows them that staying in school really is worth it, even if it doesn’t feel like it is at times. The most enjoyable thing for me was seeing a lot of my old teachers and being able to go back to where I first started in SUSD.”
– former Tavan student Dallas Ligon
“While visiting Hopi and Ingleside, the schools I grew up at, I was able to reflect on my life and how far we have all come. The kids were enthusiastic and smiled at everyone. It reminded me to never stop being a kid, and to relish the memories I have made the past 12 years in the Arcadia area.”
– Camy Carden
“I loved the grad walk because I got to see all the teachers who made a difference in my life. They created a love for learning in many students lives and it is because of them that we are going off to do great things.”
– former Ingleside student Ella Canada
“I loved the grad walk because it was like a walk down memory lane. It was so fun to spend the day with friends I’ve had since kindergarten, talking about memories over the years and seeing teachers that made such an impact on our lives. The kids were so excited for us too, which made it even more special.”
– former Hopi and Ingleside student Grace Reed
“The Grad Walk was incredibly fun, mainly because of seeing all the kid’s excited faces. It really put into perspective how young I really was at Echo Canyon, rather than how old and mature I thought I was back then.”
– Luke Nolen