Sayville Seniors Take A Trip Down Memory Lane
And launch a new tradition at the same time
The Sayville students eagerly boarded the buses. Some were going to Lincoln Avenue elementary school, others to Sunrise Drive. A third group of walkers enjoyed the pleasant spring morning on their way to Cherry Avenue. However, what made this activity so newsworthy was that these students were the Sayville High School Seniors. The Class of 2018, dressed in their caps and gowns and wearing laminated copies of their fifth-grade yearbook photos on lanyards, took this first-time nostalgic trip to their elementary schools.
Once they arrived, the High School Seniors marched into the elementary school buildings to the music of Pomp and Circumstance. Inside, their former teachers, all the current students, and many of the staff greeted them with heartfelt cheers and applause.
This new tradition, entitled “The Senior Inspiration Walk"—to thank, reflect, reminisce, and inspire—at Sayville High School—has begun with the Class of 2018 and it was a great success. Mr. Hoffer noted with extreme satisfaction, "Dreams do come true."
Photo caption: “OMG today was sooooo FUN!!!” Lincoln Avenue First-grade Teacher Liana Meloni emailed her reaction to Dr. LeBlanc. “The graduating class was one of my FAVORITES and it was so nice to see them all grown and hear about their future plans. Wish we had more time with them! Captured a cute pic with some of my girls and found an old pic from kindergarten of Emily Abrahall (last day of school) and did a side by side!!!”
Here’s how each elementary school found special ways to honor the soon-to-be-grads:
- Sunrise Drive Principal Dr. James Foy marveled at the amusing stories and touching sentiments the students and former teachers exchanged during the reunion. In addition, Dr. Foy remarked, “The Sunrise Drive Alumni walked into the cafeteria where they were able to find the face painting they had completed many years ago. The Seniors were then able to walk the halls freely and visit former teachers and staff. The event concluded with a final picture taken outside of the main entrance. Congratulations to the Class of 2018!”
- “The graduates paraded the hallways twice with the graduation song playing, though the cheering was so vibrant, you couldn’t hear it!” Lincoln Avenue Principal Dr. Michele LeBlanc noted with amusement. Their first stop was the cafeteria where Principal Dr. LeBlanc greeted them and offered her congratulations while the Class of 2018 enjoyed refreshments of cookies and water. After, the soon-to-be graduates visited classrooms where the teachers had prepared memorabilia, exchanged thanks, and discussed future plans. “There were tears from staff and students!” LeBlanc added. Once the Class of 2018 had their photos taken in front of the Lincoln Avenue sign, they boarded their buses back to the High School.
- Pomp and Circumstance played on the Cherry Avenue schoolyard speakers for the Seniors who walked over from Sayville High School. At the front door, they met their former Cherry Avenue Principal and Sayville’s current Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Stimmel where they posed for photos. Then, Cherry Avenue Principal, Dr. Lisa Ihne greeted the Class of 2018 and introduced two fifth-grade students (Katerina Michaelides and Jake Schollenberger) to be their escorts for the processional through the building. “Staff and students lined the hallways to congratulate our visitors. Balloons adorned the lobby. After the procession, the Seniors were given time to visit with former teachers,” Dr. Ihne recounted.
The Cherry Avenue teachers prepared the bulletin boards for a fun activity. The Seniors were encouraged to place “a paper graduation cap” on their Fifth-grade yearbook photos posted on the bulletin boards. Alongside these photos, several teachers had written heartfelt and nostalgic notes to the seniors and offered them well wishes for the future. There was also an inspiring message for all. “Tears of joy were shed by both faculty and students,” Dr. Ihne recounted. “Overall, it was a powerful experience for all involved. We were overwhelmed with pride from the moment we saw the Seniors donning gold and purple caps and gowns as they made their way to Cherry Avenue School.”