For every student who graduates from Highline Public Schools, there are dozens of teachers, relatives, friends, neighbors and mentors who supported them along the way.
How do we say thank you to the community that rallies around our students on their pathway to graduation?
Four of our seniors took a step back before they walked across the graduation stage. Each visited their elementary school to surprise a teacher and say thank you for the lasting impact they made.
We captured these special and heartfelt moments on video to share with you.
Anahi Garcia, Mount Rainier High School
Mount Rainier senior Anahi Garcia returned to her old stomping grounds at Cedarhurst Elementary School to thank teacher Teresa Anderson for believing in her during her most difficult year.
Anahi will study health and biology at Evergreen State College next year.
Luis Martinez, Tyee High School
Brett MacDonald was Luis Martinez's teacher for just half a school year at Bow Lake Elementary. In that short amount of time, Mr. MacDonald left a lasting impact on Luis. The Tyee senior surprised him with a letter of gratitude.
Luis will attend Central Washington University next year to study psychology.
Efrain Lopez, Evergreen High School
Evergreen senior Efrain Lopez dreams of becoming a teacher. His inspiration? Southern Heights Elementary teacher Denise Della Pella. Efrain made it his mission to visit her classroom one last time before graduating to tell her how grateful he is for her support.
Efrain will attend Bellevue College in the fall before transferring to the University of Washington to study anthropology and political science. He hopes to return to Evergreen to teach social studies.
Arpan Singh, Highline High School
The first teacher Arpan Singh remembers connecting with on a personal level is Gregory Heights Elementary teacher Shannon Martin. She pushed Arpan and his peers to go outside their comfort zone. Arpan returned to Gregory Heights with his peers to say thank you.
Arpan plans to study computer science at the University of Washington next year.