Students at Bester Elementary School and E. Russell Hicks Middle School cheered on South Hagerstown High School students while they walked the halls of the schools before graduation.
 
Officials said having the graduates appear in their caps and gowns in the schools sets an example for even the youngest students.
 
“[It’s] showing them that starting to work hard now for what they want in the future will lead them to great things in the future such as graduation,” said Kristi Bachtell, Bester Elementary School Principal.
 
The experience is designed to stick with the younger students as they set goals to graduate, but it also has a special place in the hearts of graduates.
 
“They really look up to us high-schoolers. They see that we’re graduating and doing something with our life. I guess it makes them want to do the same,” said Douglas Rather, member, South Hagerstown High School Class of 2016.   
 
Officials said it’s not just about inspiring the younger students, but it’s also about celebrating students that have accomplished great things.
 
“[We hope to do] anything we can do to celebrate them on a special day like this. [We hope to] also show that to the kids at the elementary school can come back in the future and really help this neighborhood be strong,” said Keith Fanjoy, Director, Bester Community of Hope,  
 
Officials hope that inspiring younger students will help the young scholars set goals in their schools and in their communities.
 
This is the second year graduates have visited Bester Elementary School.
 
Officials plan to make it a tradition every year when graduation rolls around.