Columbus Signature Academy — Lincoln Campus elementary students caught a glimpse of the future when members of this year’s high school graduating class, one-time Lincoln Huskies themselves, returned for a walk down familiar hallways from their past.
Nearly 20 graduating seniors from Columbus Signature Academy — New Tech, Columbus East and Columbus North high schools gathered for a pre-commencement celebration and hallway walk Tuesday starting on the top floor for younger students and winding down to the first floor.
CSA-Lincoln’s 345-member student body lined the halls cheering on the seniors as some young students extended high-fives in celebration. Many held signs cheering on the former Huskies as they walked through the school.
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Each Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. senior who had once attended CSA-Lincoln received a personal invitation to participate in the graduation walk-through at the school, a chance for the seniors to remember their days in elementary school, and for the elementary students to perhaps dream of the day when they will have their own walk-through.
Principal Brett Findley said the idea for this first graduation walk came from first-grade teacher Lori Cash, who had seen similar walks on social media.
It wasn’t just the seniors who were nostalgic during the walk-through. Michelle Spear, a former fifth grade CSA-Lincoln teacher who has retired, brought poster boards of her fifth grade class from 2009-2010 with photos of youngsters who will be graduating this weekend.
Each student was asked in fifth grade about a special memory they had from that year and what they wanted to be doing 10 years from their fifth grade school year.
Carol Schwab wrote that she wanted to be an artist, and Colton Zeigler was planning on playing college football, on his way to being a professional football player.
Hannah Hart wanted to be a teacher.
“I’m really proud of them,” Spear said. “They were really an intelligent group when I had them in fifth grade.”
Spear said she’s been able to stay in touch with many of her former students through the years and hopes the graduation walk-through becomes an annual tradition at CSA-Lincoln.
“I wanted to celebrate with them and let them know I’m proud of them,” she said.
The seniors were treated to cupcakes at the end of their walk, before they gathered in front of the school for photos.
Amy Henderson, who will graduate from CSA-New Tech tonight, said she appreciated the support and ovation the graduates received from the CSA-Lincoln students. She plans to study nursing this fall at IUPUI in Indianapolis.
“I care about others and I’m proud of all my friends that came with me,” Henderson said.
Brayden Burbrink, who will graduate with Henderson at CSA-New Tech, said the walk-through was a way to calm his nerves before graduation. Burbrink played football at Columbus East and plans to study veterinary medicine at Purdue University this fall.
When he was in Spear’s fifth grade class, he wrote that in 10 years he planned to be married and have an awesome job, a note that Spear included on a poster board.
The graduates’ return to CSA-Lincoln brought other visitors, including Jenny Thompson, a Title I administrative assistant who works at the BCSC administration building. She formerly worked at CSA-Lincoln as a secretary, she said.
Thompson said her job granted her the opportunity to interact with many students who participated in Tuesday’s graduation walk during her time at the school. She added that she thought it was important for her to be there.
“I feel like a mom sending off my kids to college,” Thompson said with a smile. “We’re a very small atmosphere, so we’re like a family.”
Columbus Signature Academy — New Tech High School
When: 7 p.m. today
Where: Columbus East High School gym
Columbus East High School
When: 10 a.m. Saturday
Where: Columbus East High School, 230 S. Marr Road
Columbus North High School
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
Where: Columbus North High School, 1400 25th St.