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(1:20 PM) Westfield Hosts ‘Senior Walk’ For Soon-To-Be Grads, Kindergarteners

Westfield Academy and Central School seniors and kindergarten student pictured walking hand-in-hand Monday during the school's version of a "Senior Walk." Photo by David Prenatt

WESTFIELD — Parents, teachers and staff watched with delight at Westfield Academy and Central School held its version of the “Senior Walk” on Monday.

Graduating seniors were joined this year by graduating kindergarten students, as they processed through the elementary, middle and high school halls of the building.

“I think it’s nice to see the beginning and end of education together,” said Molly Anderson, WACS director of curriculum. “It gives the little ones a goal, reminds the seniors to be good role models for the little ones, and reminds us all that time goes by so quickly.”

Ivana Hite, WACS secondary and middle school principal, agreed wholeheartedly. “It’s the starting of your education here and the ending,” she said. “That’s where having a K-to-12 building makes it unique. You have that tightness — that sense of family.”

The “Senior Walk,” in which graduating students process in cap and gown throughout the building, is in its third year at WACS. However, this year, a number of people saw a YouTube video of a school in which the seniors and kindergartners walked together, Anderson said.

Responding to many people’s comments, Anderson brought the suggestion to Hite.

“I said, ‘Look at this. Let’s do this here,'” Anderson said.

Hite said she loved the idea.

“When Molly shared the idea with me, I said ‘Wouldn’t that be nice to do here?'” Hite said. “I coordinated with the senior class advisors and officers, then sent out a parent broadcast to both senior parents and kindergarten parents to come and watch.”

The response was enthusiastic. Parents and staff lined the hallways as the students proudly walked by. “There are a lot of parents here, which is great,” Anderson said.

While there was lots of laughter and tears among those who came to witness the “Senior-Kindergarten Walk,” the students themselves maintained a quiet dignity. After all, graduation, whether from high school or kindergarten, is an occasion not to be taken lightly.