Seniors return to their elementary school for celebratory walk

 A handful of high school seniors returned May 4 to the place where their educational journey started — Copeland Elementary School on Jackson Road.          

After receiving hugs from some of their former teachers, the students, dressed in their graduation caps and gowns, took a ceremonial walk down the halls to the cheers of the elementary school students there.

Once the walk was completed, they rang the celebratory bell in the hallway.

“I believe our children need long term goals,” said principal Laurie Taylor.

Graduating Richmond County high school seniors returned to where their educational journey started May 4. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

And for elementary school students earning their high school diploma is a first long term goal.

After graduating, the options are open to them. They can pursue further education, find employment or enlist in the military, but all of those options need a high school diploma first, she said.

Keeping that goal in front of them is a priority for Taylor who said each of the school classrooms has the students’ graduating year above it – not the year they graduate from kindergarten or leave elementary school, but their high school graduation class.

Students from the Academy of Richmond County, Cross Creek, Hephzibah and Westside participated in the event.

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For Braniyah Williams, who is graduating from Westside, it was the first time she’d been back to the school since she was in pre-K. Being a role model for the elementary school students was a little “weird,” she said, but she didn’t seem to mind too much. She was all smiles as she walked down the hallways again.

Williams plans to attend South Carolina State University in the fall. She wants to pursue sports medicine.

After the walk, the seniors were treated to cake, and Taylor had a graduation gift for them.

The senior walk isn’t the only motivational end of the year event Taylor has planned for her students.

About two weeks ago, she decided to do something to help her students finish the academic year strong.

On the wall next to the celebration bell are pieces of paper with students’ names and book titles.

If the students read 1,500 books by May 12, Taylor will kiss a goat.

Charmain Z. Brackett is the publisher of Augusta Good News. Reach her at Sign up for the newsletter here.

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