Back Where They Started

On the morning of April 28th, 2017, over 30 seniors from Elkhart Memorial High School stepped off a bus and back in time as they walked the halls of Mary Feeser Elementary School. The seniors were greeted with cheers, clapping, and high fives by Feeser students and staff. As they walked the halls they saw many familiar faces, some of which taught them to read, write, and even how to walk quietly in line.

Some of these seniors would have attended Mary Feeser from the day they walked into their Kindergarten class until sixth grade. Others may have started a little later, but either way, the halls were filled with memories. They experienced everything from sports awards they helped earn, their last classroom, favorite teacher, and elementary principal.

“It’s actually very bittersweet, knowing I grew up in these halls from kindergarten to sixth grade,” says Elkhart Memorial senior Sheila Weaver. “Seeing all these kids I grew up with and now I’m graduating with, it’s bittersweet to know it’s all done.”

For Elkhart Memorial senior Khalek Sengsone, the trip was a great reflection on his educational experience, “Being class president at Memorial, it’s a great achievement to come back to the school that built me and got me to where I am now.”

For the elementary students, it may be hard to look ahead far enough to see themselves wearing a cap and gown, but they were in awe as they watched their siblings, neighbors, and friends visiting their school. The teachers took the opportunity to see how far their students have come, to bring out old classroom yearbook photos, comparing the seniors to the students they remembered, and wish them good luck with their future plans.

Kevin Dean, principal at Mary Feeser, considers this a very special visit. The class of 2017 entered Kindergarten the year he took the position as principal at Feeser Elementary. This year as they graduate, Mr. Dean will be retiring from Elkhart Community Schools.

In the upcoming weeks, Hawthorne, Osolo, Woodland, and Cleveland should expect their Elkhart Memorial seniors to be visiting too. We wish all of the class of 2017 the very best!