By Jesse Kucewicz, Contributing Writer
SHREWSBURY – After a year that has asked so much of the fourth-graders from Shrewsbury’s Walter J. Paton Elementary School, hundreds of family members and friends gathered together on June 16 to commemorate those students at the annual grade four celebration.
Each student was individually recognized by their teachers and given a certificate and yearbook to acknowledge their work at Paton as they prepare to enter middle school next year.
Paton Principal Dr. Jane O. Lizotte was excited that updated restrictions allowed for the entire fourth grade class to come together for the in-person celebration.
“This is a day that the students and families really look forward to as it captures the essence of their elementary school experience,” Lizotte said. “It’s an opportunity to be celebrated, to hear your name called.
“The other piece that is so gratifying, particularly this year, is that I don’t think, ever before, we have felt such comradery with one another, between home and school, as you witnessed the remote students here and in-person students and families.”
After receiving their certificates, students presented their class legacy project, offered gifts to teachers and staff and performed “What a Wonderful World” using sign language for family and friends in attendance.
Lizotte left her students with advice as they leave Paton and enter middle school.
“The reins are in your hands, and while you may not totally control what your life will be, you have an awful lot to say about it,” said Lizotte. “You can change the world for better or worse, not by any one great act, but by how you live, and by the choices you make.”