HELENA – High school seniors are down to their final days before graduation.

Before they walk across the stage to accept their diploma, some took a walk through the halls of their former schools.

The high fives abounded Tuesday as soon-to-be graduates walked the halls of Four Georgians Elementary School, one of multiple schools taking part.  It was a chance for them to see just how far they’ve come.

“When I heard that we were going to be doing this I wanted to get all of my friends involved and I really was super excited to do it,” said Senior Madi O’Mara.  “When we got here and were taking a picture I got super emotional.”

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The walk gave the graduates a chance to reminisce, while serving as an impactful experience for the younger students.

“It just makes them more excited to go into middle school, continue into high school and come back as seniors and do the same thing,” said 5th Grade Teacher Mary Pat Richards.

Karry Hauck a 2nd grade teacher added, “Right of the bat, they said, ‘Do we get to do this, too?’ So graduation matters and this is proof of it, when they can see their former Four Georgian Huskies walk through the halls they loved it, they were so excited.”

For these four women, it is bittersweet.   Sisters Madi and Amber came back to see their former teachers, Hauck and Richards.  Both teachers are retiring this year, having taught for more than 30 years each.

“To see the familiar faces and give them a high five, we’re awful proud of them,” said Hauck.

“There are a lot of rewarding things involved with teaching,” said Richards.  “But probably nothing more rewarding then watching all of these young adults come through the halls today.”

For the students, it seemed like not that long ago they walked these halls.  And doing so again helped cement their memories and take them off into what lies ahead.

“I remember being here and it seems like it was just three years ago, honestly, you can remember all the teachers and remember everything about them,” said Amber.  “I can remember everything, it just doesn’t seem like it was that long ago.”

Amber and her former 2nd grade teacher hugged as the interview ended.  “Very special,” said Mrs. Hauck as they walked away arm and arm, brushing away happy tears.

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