MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Two schools, one timeless tradition.
At Monroe Elementary School and Eagle Lake Elementary School, graduating seniors walked down the hallways Friday greeting the next generation of kids at the schools they once attended.
For the class of 2019, it probably seems like just yesterday they were walking through these halls for the first time.
But now, they’ve reached the top.
“It was cool. We all remembered the words. We grew up singing that song probably once a week at least, and it was cool to see that the song we sang five to ten years ago is still being sung," said Mankato East High School graduating senior Nolan Michaels.
For the younger kids, it’s a chance for them to see what they can accomplish.
“You know I think it’s so important for our students to celebrate learning at all ages, and so today really it is that culmination of an opportunity for our younger students to say to them great job, I know that I will be in your shoes one day, because all the hard work that I’m putting in is going to pay off, and I’m going to get to graduate, too one day,” said Eagle Lake Elementary School Principal Kory Kath.
Over at Monroe Elementary School, graduating twin brothers Stone and Conner Bridges, who went to Mankato West High School, both said they felt sentimental Friday and are proud to graduate together.
“Well it just brings back old memories from when I was at school here and an official student," said Stone.
Conner said he was also nostalgic.
“Well I just think it brings back old memories like I said before, but it’s also kind of fun and it brings back the kind of fun that I used to have,” he said.
The Bridges said nothing is impossible.
“Our kids have autism, so like I said we are very appreciative for the community that brought them to where they are today. We couldn’t have made it without them, and you just have to stick your mind to it, find your goal and reach for them because nothing is impossible,” the boys’ mother, Michelle Bridges, said.
And both Conner and Stone have some advice for the students who will one day follow in their footsteps.
“Never procrastinate. Even if you have a lot of time to finish your homework, just get it done as quickly as possible so you have more free time,” Conner said.
Stone said students should try their best.
“Do your very best, and if you get good grades and do everything you can to not slack off, you’ll end up where I am,” he said.
Conner and Stone will be attending Bethany Lutheran College where they will both pursue a degree in mechanical engineering. Michaels was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.