SHREWSBURY – Music echoed across the playground of the Walter J. Paton Elementary School in Shrewsbury on Tuesday as Shrewsbury High School (SHS) graduates danced with elementary school students and gave them high fives.
The graduates were students who had previously attended Paton. They returned to their former elementary school for a special senior walk through just a matter of days after their high school graduation this past weekend.
“Paton is a very special place,” said Paton kindergarten teacher and SHS parent Keri Giles. “The kids who left here at the end of fourth grade were sad to leave.”
“We said that, ‘Oh that’s the natural progression of life,’” she continued. “They said, ‘Oh you get to say that because you get to stay at Paton.’”
Giles and school nurse Lisa Smith organized the event, which was new at Paton this year.
Giles said that Smith mentioned the idea at the end of last year’s school year, suggesting that the school should do something to bring graduates back to Paton.
So, with the Class of 2022 set to graduate, Assistant Principal PJ O’Connell shared a post about the event on Schoology. Giles and Smith also emailed graduates.
The graduates were all into it, Giles said.
When the day came this week, Giles noted that they had a great turnout in terms of the number of students who returned.
“They’re just having fun and being kids,” Giles said. “What great role models for all the kids that are here.”
Moving forward, Giles said they plan to continue to hold this walk-through for future generations of high school students that once attended Paton.