Where it all started: Shelton High seniors revisit elementary halls again

SHELTON — Emotions ran high as Shelton High school seniors took a trip down memory lane this week.

The seniors, all donning cap and gown, marched through the halls or along the outside of the elementary school they attended all those years ago. Staff and students joined the celebration, clapping, cheering and holding up signs celebrating the seniors’ accomplishments.

“This is an emotional experience for the graduates and young students alike,” Booth Hill School Principal Dina Marks said.

“The graduates get to see how far they've come and experience a little bit of their childhood,” Marks added. “The young students get to see the graduates and think about how some day that will be them walking the halls one last time, hearing the cheers.”

Marks said some of her students made signs for individual graduates and “loved finding their graduate and congratulating them, handing over their signs for the graduate to keep.

“I like that it gives the young students something to look forward to and elevates graduation to something tangible — a tradition, a rite of passage — even if they don't quite understand that yet,” she said.

Long Hill School Principal Andrea D’Aiuto, a teacher at the school before taking the principal job, said she had taught many of the seniors who returned this week while fourth graders.

“To see them grown-up and successful and to congratulate them on their accomplishments is amazing,” D’Aiuto said.

Sunnyside School Principal Amy Yost called the march of teens a wonderful opportunity for soon-to-be graduates to appreciate how far they have come.

“It’s a wonderful partnership for the little ones to aspire to,” Yost said. “Our teachers love seeing their previous students and hearing their future goals and dreams.”

D’Aiuto said the graduates feel a sense of pride and the current Long Hill School staff and students loved greeting them and cheering them on.

“It is so nice and special to see these kids come full circle,” D’Aiuto said.