Before they graduate Saturday, May 26, some Delaware Hayes High School students stopped by their old elementary schools Monday for the annual Senior Recognition Luncheon.
At Smith Elementary School, more than two dozen seniors visited the school and were given tours by current students before having lunch with their former teachers.
“It’s kind of scary,” said Destinee Burwell, a senior who will soon attend college to become a veterinarian technician. “You used to think of the school as so big, and it’s not.”
Likewise, senior student Hunter Stabley said the school seemed smaller than he remembered, and he added, “I liked seeing all the changes (new wing opened this school year).”
Stabley said he will be attending the Ohio State University this fall to study finance.
The luncheon also had old yearbooks and papers from when the seniors were studying at Smith, and a special sale using “funny bucks,” an incentive currency created by former Smith teacher Anita Shively, where students would get funny bucks for good behavior and be able to spend them on treats or toys.
When the lunch organizers announced there would be a funny bucks sale, the attending students laughed and cheered.
Seniors Chase Patton and Alexis Purdun said seeing the funny bucks again after so many years was fun. Patton said the funny bucks system taught students how to be entrepreneurs because students were allowed to buy and sell items for funny bucks.
“Funny bucks taught us how to do our own business,” Patton joked.
Shively said the 2009-2010 elementary class was her last one, and she was glad the funny bucks made such an impact on her former students.
Karen Deighton, a retired kindergarten teacher, attended the lunch and took a photo with all her former students.
“I still recognize their faces even though they are a lot taller,” Deighton laughed. “They’ve grown into fine young people.”
Deighton said she taught kindergarten at Smith from 1974 to 2009, and she was glad to see her students again.
“We learned a lot in a fun way,” Deighton said. “It was great to see them.”
Senior Anna Wells attended the lunch and found a paper she wrote for Shively when she was in fourth grade.
“This is crazy to see,” Wells said.
Wells added she plans to attend Miami University to study high school education this fall, a decision she made because of the teachers she had throughout her education.
“These teachers shaped me into who I am,” Wells said. “All the teachers I had made me fall in love with education.”
Hayes seniors graduate this Saturday at 10 a.m. at the high school.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.