Orondo Preschool holds graduation

Proud preschool graduates display their diplomas. (Empire Press photo/Darlene Paterson)

 

By Darlene Paterson
Empire Press Correspondent

Millie Watkins, Alma Celaya and Bertha Garcia present the preschool students their diplomas. (Empire Press photo/Darlene Paterson)

Orondo Preschool graduation was held May 18. The event began with a welcome from Superintendent/Principal Millie Watkins, followed by her invitation to enjoy a potluck meal provided by parents of the graduates.

Watkins expressed mixed feelings as she spoke about this being her last preschool graduation before retirement.

“I wouldn’t miss the opportunity to celebrate one more preschool graduation,” she said. “This is always a highlight of the year. We have lots of proud parents of the sweetest kids you can find anywhere. It’s a real pleasure to be here and I have a lot of nostalgia about this.”

Parents, siblings, relatives and friends of the graduates gathered in the school multipurpose auditorium for the evening of celebration. Lively music played during the meal.

“We have 12 graduating from preschool and going on to kindergarten,” preschool teacher Bertha Garcia said. “Last year we had 25 graduates, so it’s a lot smaller this year. They have been a very fun class.”

A video showing each graduate in their cap and gown and highlighting their activities throughout the year played on a large screen at the front of the auditorium while families waited for the ceremony to start.

Friends and families of preschool graduates enjoy a meal together. (Empire Press photo/Darlene Paterson)

Jennifer Foreman, mother of a graduate, said, “Grayson is very excited to put on his cap and gown and graduate from preschool. He has really blossomed this year and is ready for kindergarten. The teachers have done such a great job. They love our kids well.”

The processional began and each young graduate entered and took their place on the bleachers. Yellow balloons and a banner with the words “aloha” hung across the top. Students wore funky sunglasses as they sang “Mr. Sun” for the audience.

Following the song, Watkins and school secretary Alma Celaya assisted Garcia in awarding a diploma to each graduate while the audience cheered and snapped pictures. Garcia then officially presented the Orondo Preschool Class of 2017 as they proudly displayed their diplomas.

The evening concluded with cake for all to enjoy.

Preschool at Orondo is now finished for this school year. Classes were held for 3- and 4-year-olds from the community on Monday and Wednesday mornings and for children in ECEAP (Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program), a state preschool program based on income, on the other weekday mornings.

For further information, contact the school at 784-1333.