Family and friends sat in the Greenport school auditorium with cameras, cell phones and iPads in hand, eager to see their children and document the momentous occasion: their child’s first graduation.
Then the students came in. Some were dressed in polo shirts and slacks, others in dresses, but all of them wore tiny white graduation caps. The smiling graduates walked through the aisles past their parents. The audience stood and cheered as the graduates took the stage.
“It’s great to celebrate our little ones as they’re moving up to first grade, especially since it’s the first time they’ve been exposed to school in a group,” said principal Joseph Tsaveras. “And they’re so cute.”
Sixty kindergarteners from Greenport Elementary School celebrated their graduation at a ceremony Friday morning.
One by one, the three kindergarten classes stood at the front of the stage, singing and dancing to tunes like “Happy,” “One Small Voice” and “Moving On.” After all the classes performed their individual songs, the students stood together and sang “America.”
After the performances, Superintendent Michael Comanda presented the diplomas. One boy held his graduation cap by the tassel, dragging it along the floor as he accepted his certificate. After receiving the diplomas, many students sprinted or skipped back to their seats.
“Anytime you can celebrate kids and have them excited about learning it’s a home run,” Mr. Tsaveras said.
The graduates then left the stage and sat in the audience with their families, who were treated to a 15-minute slideshow featuring students having fun in school throughout the year.
After the ceremony concluded, the graduates and their families had refreshments on the East Lawn. Students took pictures with their families and celebrated on the playground.
“It’s been a great year,” said kindergarten mother Amelia Rallis, whose son, Destin, graduated at the ceremony. “There were larger class sizes, but the teachers managed to make it seem effortless and memorable.”
Though this graduating class was slightly larger than in previous years, teachers said they didn’t need to make any changes to the graduation celebration.
“It was a larger group, but it was a great group with a lot of good memories,” said kindergarten teacher Laurie Gammon.
Click through to enjoy pictures of the graduation.