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South Lakes Seniors Return to Elementary School Roots to Celebrate Graduation

by Dave Emke June 15, 2017 at 4:00 pm 20 Comments

Students who will be graduating from South Lakes High School next week walked familiar halls this morning to provide inspiration to the community’s youth.

In a new tradition, seniors were able to visit their elementary school alma maters and celebrate with the kids there. Schools documented via social media the occasion, which was described as a moving experience for all involved.

“This is the first year for this Graduate Walk but it went so beautifully that we hope to make it a yearly tradition,” said Emily Burrell, spokesperson for South Lakes High School. “It was an emotional experience for the soon-to-be graduates and their elementary teachers. And the elementary students were thrilled to celebrate the graduates. They even made signs in the South Lakes colors. There were tears of joy all around.”

Students who did not attend an elementary school in Reston were allowed to choose which school they visited, Burrell said.

South Lakes High School’s seniors will graduate during a ceremony Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Eagle Bank Arena on the campus of George Mason University.

Photos courtesy South Lakes High School

  • Tired of it in Reston

    What a waste of time and taxpayer dollars – meanwhile, US test scores demonstrate the lagging global performance in nearly every category of the ‘esteemed’ grads. Visiting former teachers is great, but to do so on school time just occupies the time of both the seniors and the elementary class’ time. Do this social visiting on your own or after class hours in an assembly if it is so important and benefits so many others. These hours could have been spent doing something constructive – cleaning your own classrooms and hallways, prepping for next year’s incoming class, but we have to occupy and fill up those late in the school year days.

    • EliteinReston

      I hope these terrific kids do not see this vile post.

      • Jenny Gibbers

        I hope they see this post! Because like I have, they will have to come to the realization that adults are mostly obstacles to their successes and they should full steam ahead !!!

        #next gen

        • RestonAssurance

          Love it, Jenny Gibbers!

    • Willie Reston

      Yeah, all these kids should just put their heads down, shut up, and focus on more standardized testing. That’s what’ll get the creative juices flowing and keep everyone motivated!

      • Tired of it in Reston

        Not saying that at all – what about a program where they write a Thank You essay to one or more of their former teachers, and maybe some life lessons learned – and how it will prep them for the future. These can be shared with the teacher and younger classes. But then, they’d have to glance up from their phones, which is why all of their heads are down.

    • A SL senior

      The schools made sure that they would not interrupt class time. The elementary schools were having their field days and the seniors do not have classes anymore. I don’t see how they wasted time. It is also the END of the school year. Not much class instruction goes on during this time of the year.

    • flyingdonut

      Wow. You are seriously a terrible person. The graduates were not in class, and at each of the elementary schools it was Field Day, so no classes were missed there. It was great that the graduates came back- to show a second grader that she can graduate too is a good thing.

      You seriously are a terrible person. Switch to decaf.

    • SLHS senior

      ok i am one of the seniors that did this and i simply don’t understand why your so offended by this, first of all school is ending in a couple of days and all testing that needs to be done was completed weeks ago and this activity took less then 30 mins including the travel time. stop trying to rain on everyones parade

      • Gregory Toland

        I agree! Glad you enjoyed it! This was a great first year tradition!

    • Gregory Toland

      “US test scores demonstrate the lagging global performance in nearly every category of the ‘esteemed’ grads.” Please know a bit more of the detail of what you write. When all 50 states are lumped together we tend to not do so well globally because certain stated bring the test scores down. But if you treat each individual state as a country Virginia does extremely well, at the top of the global class. Please research more. I assume your kids contributed to the lagging performance.

  • RestonAssurance

    I love it! What a wonderful way for the little ones to see former alums graduating high school! A special walk down memory lane for the high schoolers to reflect on where they’ve arrived, and the hard work it took to get there!

    • Tired of it in Reston

      Encouragement of inflated self esteem for the grads – but their entire lives have been documented and praised, so why bother with telling them how ‘special’ they are now? the younger children have absolutely no connection to these soon to be alums

      • Wow

        We have siblings at those elementary schools. We spend countless hours volunteering at those elementary schools. Please tell me how we have no connection to those students. I’d really love to know.

  • Mike M

    Clever program. So much of education avoids the big picture. It is critical to proceed with the end in mind.

  • TRS

    Just WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!!

  • Del Mueller

    That is pretty cool. What a sense of community. I moved away from my elementary school, loss touch with those teachers and students. These seniors are very fortunate to grow up in one school system. And the young students love this stuff, motivates them.

  • Tom

    This is a great idea. I notice they restricted it to “elementary school.” My memories of elementary school were pretty good. It was middle school (also known as “Junior High,” grades 6-8 in my time) that were the worst. I never want to relive those years.

    • Arielle in NoVA

      Some other jurisdictions have done it with their middle schools. Look on Twitter – search for “grad walk” or “senior walk”.

  • Arielle in NoVA

    If anyone got a video or additional pix at the Fox Mill walk, please share/LMK where they are. Thanks.


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