A new 7th grader gets a high-five as he walks in on the first day of middle school. | Nicole Kunze

The first day of middle school is filled with nerves and maybe even a little fear for Lehi’s seventh graders. Elementary School teachers, administrators, and parents in Lehi made the transition a little easier for their former students last Friday, August 17, by lining the entrance to Willowcreek Middle School and cheering as the seventh graders walked in for their first day.

“We love the kids and we want to show them support! I think they appreciate it, they might get a little embarrassed, but I think they like to see us here,” said Kathy Ferre, a third-grade teacher from Lehi Elementary. Administrators at Meadow Elementary started the tradition of welcoming the seventh graders on their first day three years ago. Other schools have joined in and this year the elementary teachers played drums, blew bubbles, cheered, and waved signs with encouraging phrases like, “You got this!”

Sarah Martin, a fifth-grade teacher from Meadow Elementary, was at Willowcreek for Seventh Grade Day to cheer for her former students. “You have to feel for them, you can see how nervous they are. We want to remind them that even though they’re going through a big change, we’re still here to support them and we believe in them,” said Martin.

As the buses arrived and big groups of students poured into the school, teachers would pop out of the cheering crowd to give a particular boy or girl a high-five or a hug. One girl waited by a tree for a big enough group to join, but her sixth-grade teacher found her, gave her a hug, and encouraged her to walk into the school. One student tried to avoid the gauntlet of cheering teachers, but Lehi Elementary Principal Kerri Hundley noticed her and led the girl back around to walk under the bubbles and get high-fives.

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