Walking down memory lane

Persephone Means, Editor

Thursday, May 19, Iola High School seniors met in the gymnasium bright and early for graduation practice. They received their Mustang blue caps and gowns, and with excitement and anticipation, were able to put them on.

This year IHS tried something new. According to graduate Tori Bland, “[The senior class] voted on doing it in a senior class meeting.” Graduate Brynna Hollins commented that, “The idea came from Mr. Crenshaw seeing other schools do it from a post on Facebook.” The senior students of IHS were going to walk down the halls of their elementary schools.

When assistant principal Scott Crenshaw proposed the idea, “All of the seniors agreed to it. It was an “all or nothing” kind of thing. I could tell that all of the seniors were excited to participate, and I just heard them say, over and over, ‘This is the coolest thing.’”

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Photo by Karima Hall. Graduate Whitney Tarter gives high fives to elementary schoolers.

Bland commented that, “I think that it was really exciting for the kids because they were witnessing their older siblings succeeding. My niece and nephew are middle schoolers so they got to see me. My nephew is struggling with his schoolwork and I hope that when he saw me he felt that he could graduate as well.” Hollins feels, “It affected the teachers a little bit more, especially since some seniors had thank you cards that we made in senior English to give to our teachers.” Crenshaw stated, “Senior students were crying. I think it really hit them how much of an honor it is to graduate from IHS. Being a Mustang is a responsibility and a privilege. They are all very proud of their accomplishments.”

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Photo by Karima Hall. Toben Kinzle walks the halls of McKinley Elementary school.

Hollins believes, “The purpose of the whole walk was to encourage elementary school kids to stay in school and to stick with it to get to where we’ve gotten, and to graduate with their class. Also, to help them keep up all their hard work and to show that there is a purpose in graduating high school.” Crenshaw told the IHS Messenger that, “The purpose was twofold; We wanted to try to set a standard for younger students that graduating is a great thing. We want them to say, ‘I want to do that someday.’ It also let seniors know what an accomplishment they made. It can be recognized with more than just a walk across a stage. It showed them how much they really do affect young lives.”

The class of 2016 commencement ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 22, at two o’clock in the Iola High School gymnasium. The public is invited to attend.