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Lake Placid kindergarteners celebrate their achievements

Persaysis H. smiles as she leaves Lake Placid Elementary School’s kindergarten recognition ceremony on Friday. (Enterprise photo — Sydney Emerson)

LAKE PLACID — As the band struck up “Pomp and Circumstance,” the students adjusted their caps and processed into the gym, where their parents and teachers were waiting to celebrate their achievements. In the fall, after a few months of rest and summer fun, they’ll all move on to higher education: first grade.

Lake Placid Elementary School’s class of 2036 had finished kindergarten.

On Friday, the kindergarteners were driven down Main Street in Lake Placid by their parents and teachers in cars decorated with paint, balloons and poster boards. Family members, friends and even some tourists stopped to cheer the parade on and celebrate the students’ successful year. The parade made its way back to LPES, where the school hosted a recognition ceremony — a miniature, informal graduation-style event — for the kindergarteners.

“The parade started during the COVID year because we knew that we couldn’t get everyone packed into the gym like this with the COVID protocols, so we still wanted to celebrate and honor our kids,” said LPES Principal Sonja Franklin. “Every year, the kids have really seemed to enjoy that.”

Franklin said the parade makes the kids feel special and learn to celebrate their accomplishments after a big year of learning.

The class of 2036 — Lake Placid Elementary School’s kindergarteners — celebrate the end of the school year at kindergarten recognition on Friday in the gymnasium. (Enterprise photo — Sydney Emerson)

“They feel like a rock star when they’re driving down Main Street and they see that the traffic’s been stopped for them and people are waving,” she said. “Kindergarten has always been the landmark first official year. … It’s the year that they learn to read. They learn to do the basic skills that are really the foundation for the rest of your life.”

Bri Currier, one of LPES’s three kindergarten teachers, said it’s nice to end the school year with a celebration.

“It’s really special to them because they get to be the center of attention, and it’s a different way to celebrate them,” she said. “They worked so hard during the school year.”

Wearing paper mortarboards decorated with their names in gold glitter, some kindergarteners shared their favorite things about their first full year of school.

“I like to meet new friends,” kindergartener Hazel F. said. “(And) run through the hallway.”

Luimere S. waves at his family as he leaves Lake Placid Elementary School's kindergarten recognition ceremony on Friday. (Enterprise photo — Sydney Emerson)

Finn S. said his favorite part of kindergarten was Fridays.

“Because it’s show-and-tell (day),” he added.

As they leave kindergarten behind, Finn and Hazel are both looking forward to first grade.

“I’m looking forward to the teachers,” Hazel said, adding that she’s also excited to have sleepovers and play dates this summer.

“(Graduation) is exciting and a little sad,” Finn said.

Sibyl S. celebrates the end of the school year during the Lake Placid Elementary School kindergarten parade on Friday. (Enterprise photo — Sydney Emerson)

Franklin and Currier said that this year’s kindergarteners are fun-loving.

“This year’s class has had a really good sense of humor,” Franklin said. “They have had a couple of odd things thrown their way, but they’ve always been full of giggles. They are really close to each other. They seem like a fun-loving group and I can’t wait to watch them the next five years.”

“(They’re) really entertaining, loving and a fun group to teach,” Currier said. “I want them to know that I may have taught them a lot this year, but they also taught me so much. They’ve taught me how to be a better teacher and how to love each child differently.”

David H. waves during the Lake Placid Elementary School kindergarten parade on Friday. (Enterprise photo — Sydney Emerson)

Rowan L., back seat, celebrates his brother, Finn, along with his mother during the Lake Placid Elementary School kindergarten parade on Friday. (Enterprise photo — Sydney Emerson)

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