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Rite of passage

William Ferchland
Photos by Dan Thrift / Tahoe Daily Tribune / Lauren Constantine walks the bridge from preschool to kindergarten Friday during graduation ceremonies at Kindertown Preschool.
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The 22 students of the graduating class of 2006 sat impassively as cameras flashed, video cameras zoomed and parents smiled. Although there was no valedictorian speech, the students harmoniously recited their ABC’s to perfection.

Yes, the Friday graduation of Kindertown preschoolers to kindergarten was celebrated with happiness and joy, and even “Pomp and Circumstance” through stereo speakers. Tears fell from some adult cheeks.

Holding a bouquet of roses and balloons, Michael Harvey looked on as his granddaughter, Maya Harvey, took the three steps up and three steps down a “bridge” that represented their upcoming entry into kindergarten.

“It’s a big day for me. I’m grandpa,” he said. “Yeah, she’d do really well. She’s a smart little kid.”

For one moment Harvey lost his grip. He looked up and the balloons were already making a beeline for a pine tree. But he didn’t lose his composure.

“We’ll have to get some more balloons quick,” he said.

While no individual awards were given, all 11 girls and 11 boys were given bags to prepare them for the rigors of kindergarten: a glue stick, some crayons, a writing tablet and other school-related goodies.

“You know what? They’re all special,” said teacher Joanne Butcher.

Parent Adena Edwards snapped multiple pictures of her daughter, Anna, in her pink cap and gown. The boys, of course, wore blue. “It’s a special day for her,” Edwards said. “We have been looking forward to this and her just being able to go to kindergarten, she is very excited about it.”

The milestone of the day might have been missed for a moment on the melancholy Anna, who was twisting herself around on a swing, and seemed to look to the future and the past with her statement.

“I like graduating because I like this place,” she said.

Jezica Monette, another member of the Class of 2006, was also at a loss for words. She couldn’t decide what she liked the best among the host of options including her white dress, barbecue chips and a plastic bouquet of red roses.

Her mother, Diane Monette, picked up the slack in expressing emotion.

“This is sad,” Monette said. “They’re going off to the real school.”


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