POINT PLEASANT — There are firsts and lasts in life but seldom do they occur in the same moment.
Point Pleasant High School’s Class of 2016 experienced one of those moments on Friday, when graduates were the first to participate in a “Senior Walk” through Point Pleasant Primary School and Point Pleasant Intermediate School. For the graduates, it was also the last time they would get on a school bus with their fellow classmates, in caps and gowns no less, walking the hallways with future graduates of Point Pleasant High School who gave them high fives and applause.
Lesley Dvosis, teacher at PPHS, helped organize the “Senior Walk” and accompanied the graduates to their destinations on Friday.
“This is definitely something I would like to see happen every year,” PPPS Principal Vickie Workman said, adding when the idea was brought to her by Dvosis, she saw it as an opportunity for her students to look ahead, while she imagined Dvosis saw it as an opportunity for her students to look back.
Leading the graduates on that special walk was Heather Anderson, who herself attended PPPS, Workman said.
“There were a lot of tears when ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ was played over the intercom…a lot of hugs and smiles,” Workman said of the event.
Graduates also received applause and hugs from many of their former teachers, like Karen Jackson who is retired but now substitutes at PPPS as a Title I instructor. At one point in the procession, PPHS Graduate James Littlepage recognized Jackson and stepped out of the line to hug her – he was one of many who had Jackson at PPIS or Roosevelt Elementary, growing up.
“You teach them, you pray for them, and then to see them now, it’s special,” Jackson said, herself wiping away tears.
Jackson also said to have the graduates interact with those in primary school helps students see what’s in front of them and how one day, they will be walking those halls in caps and gowns.
“This is something to look forward to for the students and a nice tradition to start for Point Pleasant and for all Mason County Schools,” Workman said, explaining, the walk helps highlight the connections between/from preschool to high school.
It also allows graduates to go back to where they started, one last time. Who says you can’t go home?
(Editor’s note: Members of the PPHS Class of 2016 receive their diplomas at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, May 28 at the PPJ/SHS football field. Coverage of graduation will appear in Tuesday’s Point Pleasant Register.)
Reach Beth Sergent at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.