Approximately 200 Eureka High soon-to-be graduates decked out in their purple graduation gear retraced their Rockwood roots, May 14.
They visited their alma maters – LaSalle Springs and Wildwood Middle, as well as Blevins, Eureka, Fairway, Geggie, Pond and Ridge Meadows Elementary Schools. The seniors walked down the halls as younger students cheered them on.
Eureka High Assistant Principal Dan Thoman said it spreads a sense of pride, accomplishment and community.
"We have all helped shape these graduates through the years," said Thoman. "It gives our seniors a chance to recognize and thank the educators and staff who have invested in them."
This was the first time Eureka High School put on the event.
Thoman said, "Our seniors commented that they were very surprised by the reaction at the schools. Many did not realize how excited the kids and staff would be to see them and they were very glad they signed up to go."
Graduating senior Grace Eickel was one of them.
"I was very surprised when I saw students outside their classroom waving pom-poms," said Eickel. "It was very sweet. It felt like not too long ago I was one of those kids."
Another graduating senior, Olivia Prost, returned to her middle school alma mater of LaSalle Springs.
Prost said, "You get so much nostalgia just walking down the hallway. You notice where your locker was. You get to see your former teachers. It makes you realize how fast middle and high school went by. It's awesome. I'm really excited I got to do this."
Senior Andy Mocker described his experience at Ridge Meadows. "I haven't been here since I was a student," he said. "It's kind of crazy. It makes us feel more proud of where we are."
Rockwood high school graduations are the week of May 21.