Some members of the class of 2020 have their first graduationSome members of the Park High School Class of 2020 graduated from kindergarten last week at Pine Hill Elementary School in Cottage Grove.
By: Judy Spooner, South Washington County Bulletin
Some members of the Park High School Class of 2020 graduated from kindergarten last week at Pine Hill Elementary School in Cottage Grove.
“You are ready to be first-graders,” said teacher Scott Alton to his afternoon class in the school’s media center with parents and family members in the audience.
Alton, wearing a traditional graduation gown and hat, said he talked with his class about “my funny hat and robe.”
“It means that you’ve studied hard and gotten smarter,” he said.
During morning meeting at the beginning of each class day, the routine includes students looking for an imaginary fish.
He gave each student a small wooden fish along with a diploma stating the child had officially graduated.
“I have a fish for you to keep forever,” he said.
Reminiscent of “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” by Robert Fulghum, Alton gave students medallions to reinforce the traits they will need as they progress through life.
Proceeding in alphabetical order just as high school graduations are conducted, Jacob Arcand’s medallion was an Enthusiasm Award for always being ready to learn new things.
Chloe Cruz’s medallion was for being an achiever and learning all the new concepts introduced in class.
Jacob Henderson’s best contribution is his ability to be a good teammate. Henderson, Alton said, invites other children to play with him and makes sure no one is left out.
Grace Jones was rewarded for her maturity.
“Congratulations, you are a first-grader,” Alton said, shaking her hand.
Nick Krause got a Perseverance Award. He broke his arm and coped well with his temporary disability and learned to write, according to Alton.
“Whenever we are stuck, we should keep on trying,” he said.
Every art project Allyson Luedtke produced “looked like a Monet painting,” Alton said. For her efforts, she got an award for creativity.
The Dedication Award went to C.J. Magle who looked forward to attending school each day.
The Leadership Award went to Irene Mihailidis.
Carson Nichols got a Giant Leap Award for making much progress in reading and writing.
The Cheerful Award went to Charles Otu. “Thank you for cheering us up,” Alton said.
Kevin Porter, who loves math and doing his best, got the Mathematician Award.
“No one tries as hard as she does,” Alton said as he awarded the Effort Award to Jocelyn Veary.
Katelyn Losee, who entered the class in mid-year, got the Conscientious Adventurer Award for coping with being in a new school. “She’s made friends in our school,” Alton said.
As college presidents might make remarks during a graduation ceremony, Pine Hill principal Terry Lizakowski said all of the parents, teachers and fellow students “are very proud.”
Alton, who said the class delayed its afternoon snack so parents could participate, invited everyone to return to his classroom for refreshments and to take pictures of the new graduates.