For the second year in a row, Fremont High School seniors will take a ceremonial walk through an elementary school of their choice — decked out in their caps and gowns and greeted by younger students aspiring to follow in their footsteps.
The “Graduation Walk” made its debut in Fremont Public Schools last year. Seniors were able to choose an elementary school in the school system, perhaps their alma mater or where a younger sibling may currently be enrolled. Then, they boarded a bus and visited the school for a morning of celebration, reunions with former teacher and a recognition of their accomplishments.
“The response was overwhelming of emails that came in, people that were talking to each other,” said Michelle Schleicher, a reading specialist at Linden Elementary School, who founded the event. “It was a positive experience and we are going to continue it this year.”
As much as the event is meant to celebrate seniors ahead of their graduation, it’s also meant to inspire younger generations to reach the same goals, said Schleicher.
Schleicher announced this year’s Graduation Walk at this past week’s Fremont Public Schools Board of Education meeting. She did the same last year, using photos from other school districts who hold similar traditions.
“This year I get to come to you guys with pictures of kids in black and gold,” Schleicher told the board. “It was a great chance for kids to go back and see their teachers, see the buildings and see all of the good memories they had in elementary school.”
The walk will be held on the last day of school, May 9, from 8:45 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.
At the beginning of the school year, seniors filled out surveys noting which school they’d like to visit. School officials are in the midst of sorting through that now, Schleicher told the board.
This year will have one new addition as students will be able to return to Johnson Crossing Academic Center, if they so choose. This year’s class of seniors will be the first that would have attended that school building since it opened.
Each school building will plan out how their returning seniors will spend the morning.
“It was neat how all the elementary buildings and the middle school did their own take on the day, and I think things probably will even be better this year after they have seen it already go through a year,” Schleicher said. “Everybody has their own ownership of how they want to do their own day.”
Last year’s event brought out students, faculty members and even retired faculty members at each school building.