G-AHS Class of 2017 kicks off graduation week

Shawn Hardy
Members of the G-AHS Class of 2017 were in high spirits as they left the elementary school during Tuesday’s Senior Walk.

It took a little more than half an hour for members of the Greencastle-Antrim High School Class of 2017 to walk through 13 years of their school history Tuesday morning.

During a journey through the district’s four schools, they were greeted by smiles, cheers, small gifts, sweets and congratulatory signs, as well as hugs from former teachers.

They donned their caps and gowns over sneakers, shorts, sandals and jeans and took a tour of their educational past while giving the younger students a peek into their future.

School board President Jim Winslow suggested a Senior Walk after seeing one on YouTube last year. With all the schools on one campus, G-A seemed like an ideal location.

“I saw the potential emotional impact, not just for the seniors, but first, second, third … I’m pretty happy,” Winslow said.

“I’m really pleased with the turnout,” said Principal Ed Rife. Although the walk was optional, the majority of the class of nearly 230 went back to school Tuesday morning to participate.

“Let’s go have some fun,” Rife said, as the seniors prepared to leave the auditorium.

After walking past Kaley Field, they entered the primary school. Youngsters lined the hallways, some handing paper rolled up to look like diplomas and featuring the poem “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”

Rows of elementary students were on the playground and in the halls. There were messages in chalk on the walkway to the middle school.

“This is what it’s all about,” one senior was heard to say amid the slapping of high fives with middle-schoolers.

The cheers and applause rose to a loud roar when the seniors returned to the high school.

“It was very interesting,” said Jacob Kreischer. “We’re the first class to do it so that makes it special and unique.”

“I was good just seeing all the children,” said Darius Carter.

“I loved it, I’ve never seen anything like it,” said exchange student Leyla Esoyan from the Republic of Georgia. “It was fun and interesting.”

“I thought it was gonna be boring, but when it started it was really fun and special,” said Morgan Miller.

“It was cool walking through all the schools one last time,” Thomas Michalsky said.

One senior filmed the entire adventure with a Go Pro on a Selfie Stick.

“It was a good way to start graduation week,” Rife said as seniors shed their caps and gowns behind the high school and were given tickets for a visit from a Kona Ice truck.

Commencement activities for the Class of 2017 continue at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 1, with baccalaureate in the high school auditorium. The speaker is Aaron Ziebarth, executive director of Joy El Ministries.

Graduation will be held on Saturday, June 3, at 10 a.m. on Kaley Field, weather permitting. If it rains, the ceremony will be held in the high school auditorium.