Seniors have the chance to walk the old halls

Grad Walks are coming to elementary and middle schools in Tigard

At+Grad+Walks+seniors+have+the+chance+to+parade+around+their+elementary+and+middle+schools+in+cap+and+gown.+It+will+be+an+opportunity+for+seniors+to+reminisce+and+for+the+younger+students+to+dream.+
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Seniors have the chance to walk the old halls

At Grad Walks seniors have the chance to parade around their elementary and middle schools in cap and gown. It will be an opportunity for seniors to reminisce and for the younger students to dream.

At Grad Walks seniors have the chance to parade around their elementary and middle schools in cap and gown. It will be an opportunity for seniors to reminisce and for the younger students to dream.

Makayla Bell

At Grad Walks seniors have the chance to parade around their elementary and middle schools in cap and gown. It will be an opportunity for seniors to reminisce and for the younger students to dream.

Makayla Bell

Makayla Bell

At Grad Walks seniors have the chance to parade around their elementary and middle schools in cap and gown. It will be an opportunity for seniors to reminisce and for the younger students to dream.

By Jessica Krueger, Tigard High School

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     Seniors will be kicking off a new tradition: the Grad Walk. After the Senior Awards Assembly on June 6, the class of 2019 will be bussed to Tigard’s feeder elementary and middle schools: Durham, Templeton, Mary Woodward, Metzger, CFT, Twality and Fowler.

    Seniors will be able to visit with old teachers, greet younger students, and walk through old halls and classrooms. Snacks will also be provided. Although attending the event is not mandatory, all seniors are encouraged to go. Returning to their old schools is a chance to relive old memories and recognize how far they have come.

    Angelita Miller, the Grad Walk coordinator, doesn’t have exact details yet, but she hopes the event will run smoothly.

     “I’m guessing it will take about 15-16 minutes per school, and then we’ve planned the best route for buses to take in order to cover all the schools,” Miller said. “We’re trying to be efficient.”

    Senior Kiwi Stainsby thinks the Grad Walk is a great idea.

    “It’ll be nice to see all the teachers that are still around,” Stainsby said. “I will, for sure, visit Twality, and will [possibly] visit Fowler and Alberta Rider as well.”

    But for some, the Grad Walk seems awkward. Not everyone is going, despite frequent urging for students to sign up. As of May 23, there were only 81 seniors signed up, and May 31, the deadline to sign up, is rapidly approaching.

    “It’s a good idea, but it’s also kind of weird,” senior Sahana Saravanan said. “It feels strange to be walking around the elementary school when these kids don’t really have [an] idea of how long 12 years really is.”

   Although middle schoolers may have an adequate understanding of graduation, elementary schoolers may not. To them, being a high school senior is a distant reality.

    Despite this, the Grad Walk may still benefit younger students. Children are heavily influenced by older peers and those around them. When they walk through their past schools, seniors will have the opportunity to be role models of success and hard work.

    “It’s a really important statement,” Miller said. “[The Grad Walk] will have a huge affect on kids.”

    According to Miller, this is especially true for students who are struggling in school. Seeing graduates may be the inspiration they need to push through issues they may be dealing with, whether at home or school. They, too, can be successful and eventually graduate, which is perhaps one of the greatest achievements and most important goals students can have.

    Tigard’s underclassmen can look forward to the Grad Walk when they become seniors. Although this is the first year the Grad Walk will be held, the event is expected to be continued annually.

    Junior Chloe Reynolds is ecstatic about attending the Grad Walk next year.

     “I think it’s a really cool idea,” Reynolds said. “We haven’t been back to those schools in years. To go back and see those teachers that shaped your whole childhood—that’s just really cool.”

This story was originally published on on May 24, 2019.