- Sponsorship -

A walk down memory lane & toward the future  

Lowell  — It was smiles and hugs for Class of 2023 graduate Lena Clark and her second-grade teacher, Amber Stirrup.

“Best student ever!” Stirrup exclaimed. 

“Best teacher ever!” responded Lena.

The two reconnected in the Alto Elementary school yard after she and fellow members of the senior class who spent their early years at the school paraded through the hallways the day before their May graduation. Current Alto students cheered and high-fived them as they walked by. Similar parades took place at Bushnell, Cherry Creek and Murray Lake elementary schools.

“I’m excited and ready for the future,” senior Grace Larson said.

Seniors also checked out their old playground, with several taking a nostalgic ride down the slide. They reminisced about favorite Alto memories, like field day and running club, and preceded the event with a pizza party at a nearby park.

From left, Sophia Flickinger gets a hug from her former fourth-grade teacher Jen Bolhuis


From left, Class of 2023 graduate Lena Clark caught up with her second-grade teacher, Amber Stirrup


From left, kindergartners Madlynn Benedict and Aria Swift hold signs while they wait for graduates to walk by


A final stop at the Alto playground


Alto Elementary students chat with seniors
Alto Elementary students chat with seniors


Students parade through Alto


Students walk through downtown Alto


From left, Cameron Slauss, Ethan Krieger, Sawson Huhn, Alex Binns, Aidean Dennings and Gavin Mazarka line up in their caps and gowns

Read more from Lowell:
Curator, gardener, defender of the freedom to read
Student leader demonstrates service above self

- Sponsorship -
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is managing editor and reporter, covering Kentwood, Lowell and Wyoming. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013, and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio


Related Articles

- Sponsorship -

Issues in Education

Making Headlines

- Sponsorship -


Maranda Where You Live WGVU