Seventh-grade students in Lehi went back to school on Monday, August 19, a day before any of the other grades. A gauntlet of former teachers and administrators from all six feeder schools to Willowcreek Middle School greeted the seventh graders with music, bubbles, drums, cheering, high-fives, and hugs.
“It’s a familiar face for kids coming into a brand-new environment. They see their former teachers and think, ‘I can do this,’” said Zack Nelson, Assistant Principal at Willowcreek.
“They get to see their elementary teachers one last time and it’s a way for the teachers to say, ‘Good luck – we love you,’ then we stand by the door to welcome them. I think it’s a great introduction to their new school,” said John Broadhead, Assistant Principal at Willowcreek.
As the students walked down the sidewalk leading to their new school, elementary teachers and administrators cheered. Some students looked at the ground or straight ahead, but smiles would slowly escape their lips by the time they reached the front doors. One group of girls were so encouraged by the walk that they did it twice.
“I love that the teachers show the kids that they’re supporting their next phase of life even though they won’t be with them anymore. I know what it’s like to try to get ready for a new school year, and it says so much about our teachers that they’re willing to take the time to welcome these kids to their new school,” said Kristi Askew, a former teacher and a parent of a Willowcreek seventh-grader.
The seventh graders at Willowcreek had a chance to go to all eight of their new classes for ten minutes each, plus lunch, an assembly, and a fire drill, all without the eighth or ninth graders. “This is a big transition and it can be scary. We appreciate these teachers and principals helping to make it easier for the kids,” said Broadhead.