LONDONDERRY — It was a great way to start a special day.
When members of Londonderry High School’s Class of 2014 woke up June 13 — graduation day — they had one more memorable thing to attend to.
That was a return to their former elementary schools for breakfast with former teachers and staff.
It’s an annual tradition for high school seniors to visit their former elementary schools for breakfast on graduation day.
It’s also a chance for teachers and staff members, even some who have retired, to catch up with their former students and wish them well.
Scrapbooks showing seniors in their early years graced cafeteria tables at Matthew Thornton, South and North elementary schools. Many teachers brought their own photos and memories to share with the students.
A video showing the seniors in action during their years at North played during the breakfast.
Mary Coltin is retiring after this school year as principal of North School. She said the breakfast this year was extra special.
Coltin shared cooking duties with former North School principal Richard Zacchilli.
“I think this is phenomenal,” Coltin said. “It’s all good and an exciting day for them.”
The seniors were much taller, much smarter and ready to face the future, some North School staffers noted. The returning students wore badges with their fifth-grade portraits attached.
The school district has hosted the senior breakfast for about 15 years. Seniors streamed into the cafeteria and collected many hugs along the way.
Teacher Jon Rheault returned to North Elementary to see some of his former students. He now teaches fifth grade at Matthew Thornton Elementary School.
“These are wonderful kids,” he said. “It’s one of my favorite days of the year to see how the kids have grown.”
LHS senior Curtis Hayes called the breakfast a special “throwback” to his younger years.
“It’s crazy to look at all the photographs,” he said.
Zacchilli said he enjoyed returning every year to North Elementary to not only help cook breakfast, but share the moment with some former students.
“These were my kids and I’m very proud of them,” he said. “Time goes by quickly and when they come back, it’s like they never left.”