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Cheers and Tears: Ritenour's 2024 Graduates Take One Last Stroll through Elementary & Middle Schools

Iveland Grads

Amidst cheers and tears, Ritenour High School graduating seniors took one last stroll through the halls of RHS, their elementary and middle schools on May 21 as younger students and former teachers and staff members greeted them with cheers and congratulatory signs. 

View photos and videos from each school.

Donning their caps and gowns, these graduating Huskies found themselves immersed in a whirlwind of emotions, reliving fond memories while bidding adieu to the places that shaped their early years.

For many of the graduating seniors, the celebration wasn’t only about them. It was about their tribute to all the teachers and staff who played a role during their Ritenour journey to help them achieve success and prepare them to cross the stage on June 3. 

Aprilrose Lam, a K-12 Ritenour student who graduated from Marion Elementary and Ritenour Middle before RHS, shed a few tears in Marion’s cafeteria while she watched a slide show of her days as an Eagle.

“Walking back through my old middle school and elementary school brought back a lot of good memories, and being able to see the teachers that got me to where I am today brought a big smile to my face,” said Lam. “I have never been more excited than I was today to visit the good ‘ole days. I had the best teachers ever and I sure was happy to see them all one last time.”

Gabriel Wooten, another Ritenour lifer who attended district schools since kindergarten and an early 2024 graduate, wanted to see his former teachers at Ritenour Middle and Iveland Elementary and have fun on the playground before heading to the U.S. Army. He’s one of the first to graduate from Ritenour High School’s new JROTC program and already enlisted. 

Some schools had celebrations for the seniors and shared trinkets from their younger days. Marion graduates received IDs on lanyards with a picture of them on it from their early years. At Wyland Elementary, fourth grader teacher Erica Largent gave her former students a special keepsake that immediately brought giggles and smiles - letters that they wrote to their future selves.

Approximately 400 members of the Class of 2024 will walk across the stage with their diploma on Saturday, June 1 at Chaifetz Arena on the campus of Saint Louis University. The graduation ceremony begins at 6 p.m. and tickets are not required.