It was a bittersweet moment for Acton Elementary School on May 23, when the traditional Granbury High School Senior Walk was held only minutes before its annual kindergarten graduation ceremony.
The Senior Walk is a Granbury ISD (Independent School District) tradition that allows graduating seniors to walk the halls of their former elementary school while the current students line the hallways to cheer them on and congratulate them on their success.
“Usually this is the piece that the parents remember the most because it kind of puts into perspective how quickly kindergarten through 12th grade went; it's definitely a favorite of our families,” Maggie Walton, principal of AES said. “It's just a sweet, sweet moment for them, and for us too. My first year, these students were in second grade when I was here, so it's nice to see them come back.”
Historically, the district-wide Senior Walk has taken place the day after AES’s kindergarten graduation, but this year, the two milestone celebrations took place mere minutes apart from each other.
“This time of year, when high school graduation is also happening, I think it just kind of gives us a glimpse of like, how fast it all goes," Walton said. “And especially today having seniors very first thing and then a few minutes later having kindergarten, I think I'll get to share that with parents, that literally you blink and like that, it's gone.”
The 2023 kindergarten graduation was split into three different ceremony times— a change from the pandemic that has ultimately worked out better for the campus.
“We have about 145 kindergarten students, and since COVID changed some things, we realized some things work better, so we actually have three separate kindergarten graduations,” Walton said. “It's a few at a time, instead of all eight classes at the same time, and it's worked well dividing it out into different ones.”
During the ceremony, Walton addressed the parents, saying she has “the best job ever” getting to be with “their babies,” every day.
"Kindergarten is a very special year,” she said, during the ceremony. “For a lot of kids, it’s the first opportunity to be in a classroom setting, so there's lots of opportunity for growth. These boys and girls have grown so much since the beginning of the school year. I will tell you that we started this morning with our seniors who went to Acton Elementary. They came back this morning and they walked the halls for one final time, and I will tell you that it goes by in the blink of an eye and a lot of you know that if you have older children, but it really does go by so fast. We just want to let you know how much we love your kids, how much they mean to us, and just how proud we are.”
Following Walton’s opening statement, students performed two songs: “I’m On My Way” and “ABC Ya Later!” followed by the presentation of the diplomas.
"Every group of kindergarteners is sweet and special in their own way," Walton said. “Kindergarten is a really unique year and a lot of them are learning how to be in school. There’s lots of growth in kindergarten just in terms of the emotional piece. A lot of them are used to being with mom or dad, so seeing how far they have come from the beginning of the school year until the end of the school year is probably my favorite thing about kindergarten. They come in at such varying levels, and by the time they’re in kindergarten, they're all ready to move on to first grade. It's fun to see the growth, for sure.”
Following the presentation of the diplomas, the graduates tossed their caps into the air, igniting smiles and giggles from everyone in attendance.
“The songs are really precious, but probably my favorite thing is the tossing of the caps at the end,” Walton added. “It's just so sweet, and it's just precious seeing them in their caps and gowns. It kind of gives you a glimpse of just what it'll be like when they're high school graduates, which is our ultimate goal."
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