Crothersville seniors walk halls in caps and gowns

CROTHERSVILLE — By now, it’s a given the week of graduation.

Crothersville High School’s seniors put on their caps and gowns — red for the boys and white for the girls — for a walk through the elementary school hallways.

Lined along the walls are kids and teachers from preschool to fifth grade, some holding signs they made for the soon-to-be graduates, some extending their hand hoping for a high five, some clapping and cheering.

For this year’s walk Monday morning, a change was made. After their stroll through the elementary school, the Class of 2023 walked the hallways of the junior-senior high school, which is in the same building.

“It’s just tradition here,” said class President Damian Bowman, who led the 25-member class on the walk. “It’s just a small school, so we know everybody, everybody is close. I just get to graduate with all of my best friends.”

The first Senior Walk was in 2016, and it continued in 2017, 2018 and 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic canceled it the next two years. Then it returned in 2022 and was held again this year.

Bowman said he started going to school in Crothersville in third grade, so walking through the elementary was a walk down memory lane.

A field trip to watch the Cincinnati Reds still stands out to him. He recalled classmates standing on the seats hoping to get on the Jumbotron. Whey they did, one of the boys slipped out of his seat.

Now, he’s all grown up and will receive his diploma from CHS during graduation Friday.

“It was pretty cool seeing all of the kids clap for us,” Bowman said. “I thought it was cool that they made posters for us and stuff. It’s pretty special knowing that someday, that’s going to be them, and the other kids will be doing the same thing to them.”

Classmate Caden Lewis has always gone to Crothersville schools, and he, too, said field trips stood out from elementary. His favorite one was a trip to a zoo.

“Man, the memories we made as friends,” he said. “Field trips, those were the best times. I remember nights before, I couldn’t sleep just waiting for the field trip.”

The walk also made Lewis realize how fast his school years have gone.

“It’s just crazy how time flies. It’s really insane,” he said. “Just seeing the little kids all happy, one day that is going to be them.”

Seniors Will Ragan and Samantha Uberin both went to Crothersville Elementary School until third grade and then returned their sophomore year.

“One thing I really remember is we did little activities in kindergarten in groups and did play areas. I remember that was amazing. I remember doing that,” Ragan said. “Of course, recess, I remember that.”

Going on the walk Monday, Uberin said she saw some of the same teachers and some new ones, and there also were kids she recognized.

“I know a lot of the kids because I worked at the dollar store. A lot of the kids got really close with me,” she said.

Uberin said the walk made her realize how fast school went.

“It’s crazy because I look back and I see how it was when I was young, how little I was,” she said. “Just the way time changes is amazing.”

Ragan and Uberin are glad the school has continued the tradition of the Senior Walk.

“I think it’s important for us to all do that, just remember back to what we used to do, like a little flashback,” Uberin said.

“I think it’s pretty special to feel recognized by people that care about you,” Ragan said. “It felt really nice because I did the DARE program for elementary school kids, so it’s pretty hard when I saw these elementary school kids that I just taught for DARE and I’m leaving them behind. Let’s hope they turn out pretty good.”

As the seniors prepare for graduation, they leave behind advice for the elementary students.

“It’s going to get hard, but just keep pushing through,” Uberin said.

“Just do your homework,” Bowman said.

“Just chill out, man,” Ragan said, as he wore sunglasses on the walk.

“Just never give up and stay working, just work hard,” Lewis said.