Community Salute: Walk bridges generations

Published 5:36 pm Friday, June 2, 2023

On Friday night, Austin Public Schools held its commencement exercise for the class of 2023, but the day before the seniors that graduated also took part in another tradition that we feel is equally important.

Seniors from the class, clad in caps and gowns, paraded through the halls in the elementary schools and Woodson Kindergarten Center. On the surface, it’s just a nice gesture, but if you look hard enough, you can find deeper meaning in the act.

We feel it’s important, during a time when eyes are turned toward the future, that seniors also see where they’ve been. It wasn’t uncommon, at Woodson for instance, to see students shaking hands and hugging teachers that were there among their first teachers.

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This day, for all its simplicity, showed a developmental progression that puts an additional emphasis on the growth these students have experienced. A depth of experience that also should come with a dose of appreciation for those that helped them get to this point.

At the same time, it’s been shown that these younger students look up to the “big kids.” They thrive at the opportunity to be able to be in their presence, something easily seen with the smiles on their faces when seniors extend their hands for high fives.

These are larger than life successes walking past them and it shows the younger students of what awaits them.

It’s just good fun to see the interactions at all levels. It’s a nice way to help wrap a school year.