A sweet tradition has begun at Byram Hills High School: the Senior Walk.
The Class of 2019 set off on the first Senior Walk after graduation rehearsal on June 12, as the seniors promenaded through the hallways where they once walked as middle school and elementary school students.
As they moved through H.C. Crittenden Middle School, Wampus Elementary School and Coman Hill Elementary School, they glimpsed their past just days before graduation and the start of their next chapter. So many memories. Such small lockers, and even smaller students.
The event gave the seniors a way to come together as a class and say goodbye to the District while inspiring younger students. The grade school students and their teachers applauded and waved to the big kids and many seniors stooped down to high-five the younger children who sat on the floor outside their classrooms.
Spontaneous reunions broke out in each school between teachers and their former students, with many hearty hugs and handshakes and proud words of congratulations.
The seniors loved the fun, nostalgia-filled walk down memory lane and seeing teachers they had not seen for years, said Zach Cogan, a senior who helped organize the event.
“It’s a nice way to end everything and say goodbye to our school,” he said. “I liked being part of this group.”
“The senior class leaves behind this legacy of unity of our school and a good way to say goodbye to Byram Hills,” he added.
Byram Hills High School Principal Christopher Walsh was thrilled that the Class of 2019 was excited to take the first-ever Senior Walk.
“I love the way it ties together the mission of the District,” he said. “Our graduating seniors really do fulfill that mission. It’s important for everybody in the community to really understand that they play an important role in helping them achieve that mission.”
“It’s also important for all of our graduating seniors to acknowledge and show gratitude to all of those people who helped them get to this point,” he added. “That includes all of their former teachers, staff members, custodians, secretaries. It really does take a village to get them there.”
At Coman Hill, Elise Feder, a kindergarten teacher who has worked in Byram Hills for 30 years, loved seeing the halls filled with students who “take up much more vertical space than our little ones.”
“I saw faces that had changed and yet were the same,” she said. “We could watch recognition and joy spread across the high schoolers’ faces as memories came rushing back.”
Susan Tyrrell, a first grade teacher who has worked in the District for 25 years, said she could feel the students’ joy and excitement as they came past her in the hall.
“It was a good feeling to see the seniors tour the school where their lives in Byram Hills begin,” she said. “I appreciated the seniors who sought me out in the hallway, letting me know my classroom was once home to them.”
Senior Ellen Amico said the event was a great way for students to reflect on their time at Byram Hills.
“Seeing some of my old teachers for likely the last time and all the students that are there now was so fun!” she said. “I think it’ll be a cherished tradition in the future.”