Graduates from a number of Topeka area high schools donned their gowns and tassels one last time to go back to where it all started, McClure Elementary.

The former McClure students were greeted by a rock star applause from former teachers and current elementary students. 

This is the second year McClure principal Dr. Jennifer Gordon has invited graduating seniors back to the school. 

“I do it because I want our fifth graders, who are moving on to sixth grade, to realize that there is life after elementary school and even life after middle school,” said Gordon. “I want them to aim high and make sure they are on the road to success.” 

The highlight of the visit came when the seniors marched down the same hallways they wandered all those years ago. They got fist bumps and high fives from current students. 

“Getting to see all these young kids in the hallways that I used to once walk in, it just reminded me of that time,” said graduate Kaitlin Young. “It actually brought back a lot of memories that I had forgotten.”

For the graduates, it was a reminder of how far they’ve come. 

“This place is where I knew I felt at home for the first time,” said graduate Paul Cabili.

Another former McClure student echoed those sentiments. 

“This school means a lot to me, it’s where I made most of my friends,” said Andrew Mannell.