Graduating seniors from Matanzas and Flagler Palm Coast High School visited OKES to encourage the future graduates of Flagler Schools.
Graduating seniors from Matanzas and Flagler Palm Coast high schools visited their old stomping grounds at Old Kings Elementary School on Monday, May 21, while donning their cap and gowns — hoping to inspire the Owls as future graduates from Flagler County Schools.
After MHS senior LeAsia Lugo finished walking through the same hallways she walked as an elementary school student, she was met with the open arms of teacher Andrea Johnson in the media center.
"She was like a second mother to me, really," Lugo said after the two shared an emotional hug.
Johnson was Lugo's second grade teacher, but their bond has continued with lunch dates to this day.
About 35 other graduates representing the Pirates and Bulldogs high-fived and waved to students down each grade level's hallway at OKES. Many of the OKES students held up congratulatory signs and posters while clapping for the seniors.
"They're probably going to think that we're so old," FPC class president Alexandra Rutledge said. "But they need to think that that's going to be them before they know it, like time goes by so fast. I remember being here like it was yesterday."
MHS senior Julianna Crews said she was excited to show students what they can achieve in the future.
OKES Principal Katherine Crooke said this was the first year the school has coordinated this event. They welcomed seniors from both high schools to visit all the OKES students.
In addition to the OKES trip, seniors visited Wadsworth Elementary and Bunnell Elementary on Friday, May 18. Soon-to-be graduates are also invited to visit Belle Terre Elementary on May 24.