Allegheny Valley 'Senior Stroll' inspires nostalgia, hope
Springdale High School seniors had the opportunity to relive the past and say farewell to the soon-to-be-closed Colfax Upper Elementary School on Wednesday as part of the Allegheny Valley School District's first “Senior Stroll.”
Clad in their black and white graduation caps and gowns, more than three dozen seniors marched through the hallways of Colfax and Acmetonia Primary School so their younger classmates could congratulate them and see what it looks like to graduate.
“They very much enjoyed it,” senior class adviser Jennifer Novich said.
At Acmetonia, all of the students and teachers lined the hallways to watch the seniors walk by. They cheered and held up signs. The seniors waved and gave high fives.
“A lot of them were very emotional when they saw the kids clapping for them and holding signs up for them,” Novich said.
The experience at Colfax was a little different because the annual Science Olympiad was happening there at the same time.
“We walked through the halls and through the cafeteria, but all the students weren't out in the hallways for us because of all the activities that were going on,” Novich said. “Ideally, and in the future, it will happen like it did at Acme, where everybody comes out and lines the halls and we parade through.”
There are 92 seniors graduating this year. Novich said a majority of them went to Colfax, which is scheduled to close at the end of the school year.
The district is in the middle of a $13 million expansion project at Acmetonia to make room for the Colfax students, who will be moved there.
Novich said a lot of the students who participated in the stroll wanted one last chance to walk through Colfax before they graduated.
“It was nostalgic for most of them,” she said. “Most of them went to Acme as well, so going through both buildings meant a lot to them.”
Superintendent Pat Graczyk hopes the event will inspire younger students to start thinking about their futures and to have conversations with their parents that they might not have had before.
“By seeing someone in their regalia that's from their same school, went to the same elementary school, may just cause someone, a young child (to) go home and say, ‘Hey mom, or dad, what does it mean to graduate? What does it mean to go to college? What does it mean to go to work after school?' ” he said. “That's what we're looking for — to generate those meaningful conversations and for students to have a broader awareness of what the world will offer them if they decide to take different paths.”