‘Middle school’s gonna love you’

Promotion parade sends Wealthy Wizards to middle school

Wealthy School Principal Carlye Allen cheered fifth graders by name

As each vehicle passed beneath an archway of braided blue-and-gold foam pool floaties festooned with balloons, the Wealthy School fifth graders inside them, or whose heads appeared through sunroofs, became middle schoolers to-be.

Thursday’s promotion parade was held in both parking lots of the school in lieu of the traditional, schoolwide, high-five-laden “walk of fame” in which fifth graders are guests of honor at the end of the school year. Lakeside and Breton Downs elementary schools held similar events.

Teachers cheered and shook pompoms to music as each vehicle went by, while Principal Carlye Allen called to each one by name and shouted words of encouragement. 

“Middle school’s gonna love you, Orli!” Allen shouted from a safe distance.

Said art teacher Peri den Dulk: “These are kids I have had since kindergarten. I’m just missing the contact with them. I’m so glad to see them all one more time.”

Read about more school parades in Sparta and Godwin Heights

From left: Emily Bishop, fifth grade reading interventionist, first grade teacher Ashley Frayer and Principal Carlye Allen dedicate a dance to the Class of 2027

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Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema is a Grand Rapids native and a product of Grand Rapids Public Schools, including Brookside and West Leonard elementaries, City Middle/High School and Ottawa Hills. She found her tribe in journalism in 1997 and has never wanted to do anything but write. For 15 years she was a freelance journalist for The Grand Rapids Press, covering local schools and government, religion, business, home & garden and lifestyles. She and her husband, John, think even those without kiddos should be invested in their local schools and made to feel a part of them. Read Morgan's full bio or email Morgan.

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