Applause, cheers greet Evart 2017 graduates during tour
EVART — With just days remaining in their high school careers, Evart High School seniors received a special, and sentimental, send-off from their fellow students.
The soon-to-be 2017 graduates made a celebratory tour around the district's three schools on Monday afternoon, greeted by cheering and applause from students, teachers and administrators.
The graduates' tour is in its second year and materialized into something special for Evart seniors after guidance counselor Sue Lenahan saw a social media post a year ago.
"I originally saw the idea on Facebook and then decided to try it out with our seniors last year," she said. "It was a huge success."
The tour, Lenahan said, coincides with the same day the seniors receive their caps and gowns for graduation, which is set for 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 21.
For some graduates, the tour was a trip back in time, walking down the same hallways they walked in elementary or middle school, and seeing teachers they haven't seen in years, in some cases.
"It was kind of exciting to see the schools again," said Megan Wade. "I haven't been in them for years."
After graduation, Wade plans to pursue an engineering degree at Ferris State University.
Fellow senior Sydney Sanders said the tour was surreal.
"It was nice to see the little kids all there, and they could see where I am," she said. "I didn't go to those schools, but it makes me think about where I was when I was that age and how far I've come."
Sanders is planning to finish her cosmetology schooling at the Mecosta-Osceola Career Center.
Following the tour throughout the three different schools, Lenahan and Principal Jessica Kolenda met with seniors to hear feedback about the event and what the students thought of the tour.
Many seniors thought it was nice to return to the schools and see the little kids; several students seeing siblings or other familiar faces.
The tour went a little quick, some seniors pointed out, as Kolenda and Lenahan agreed the tour's pace was quick.
"It's a nice lesson for life," Kolenda explained to the seniors. "You don't need to run through or rush things. When you have adrenaline pumping you want to zoom through things as quickly as possible. Take your time. You don't need to rush."
Kolenda said she saw many smiling faces from the students in the different buildings greeting them on the tour.
"Everybody loved it," she said.
Lenahan told many of the graduates they may have felt as though they didn't know the younger students, or vice versa. However, there were more than a couple seniors who were greeted by siblings.
"You may not know many of them, but they were excited to see their big brothers or big sisters," she said.
Lenahan said she hopes to continue tweaking the tour to help build a tradition that will carry on for years to come.
"You all know that not everyone reaches this point," she said to the class of 2017. "This is a big, big deal for them to see you be successful."