For graduating Kilgore High School seniors, Monday was a chance to show off their intended college destinations and to inspire a younger generation. The Senior Walk and College Sign event began in front of the high school on Monday morning as the seniors put on their robes and mortarboards to pose for photos with signs from their chosen colleges and universities.
Many of the students held up signs for Kilgore College but many other Texas schools were represented as well, from Texas Tech to LeTourneau University, Texas A&M and Dallas Baptist University.
After photos and selfies, the seniors boarded school buses to visit younger students on other KISD campuses. The Senior Walk event began in 2017 as a way to inspire younger KISD students by seeing the seniors in their red graduation caps and gowns.
The first stop for the seniors was Kilgore Primary School, where teachers, parents and family members waited to cheer for the graduating class.
“It’s really cool,” Debra Burroughs said as she waited in the school’s office for the seniors to arrive. “I have two kids graduating, one from Kilgore High School and one from kindergarten. They’re sisters, that’s why I think it’s a big deal.”
The primary students lined up at the sides of the school hallways, anxiously looking around as the intercom began to play the popular graduation song “Graduation (Friends Forever)” by the artist Vitamin C. The younger students sent up a huge round of cheers and applause when the se niors appeared and began making their way down the hallway to high-five each primary student.
The next stop on the walk was Chandler Elementary. As the seniors waited outside to enter the school, a few of them chatted about how they had attended this same school building in first, second and third grade. After another flurry of high-fives and cheers, the seniors made their last stop at Kilgore Intermediate School.
One senior ran excitedly down the line of intermediate students, high-fiving each one and exclaiming “You’re the reason we do this!”
KHS Principal Charles Presley believes that the seniors get a great deal of enjoyment from the experience of the Senior Walk.
“Most of them really enjoy it,” Presley said. “They enjoy the opportunity. We try to do some things to let them give back. I don’t know who enjoys it better, honestly. We’re just glad the other schools are giving us this opportunity.”
After filing out of Kilgore Intermediate School, the seniors boarded the buses to return to the high school and finish up their final week of classes before graduating Friday. A track-and-field event had been planned as the finale of this year’s senior walk but it was canceled when the seniors ran out of time and had to return to their campus.
After two years of successful events, this tradition is off to a good start.