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‘This group was magical.’ Graduating seniors walk halls of the school where it all began.

Garner graduates return to roots

Garner Magnet graduating seniors who attended the Timber Drive Elementary school returned for a student clap-out in which they were celebrated for their achievement.
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Garner Magnet graduating seniors who attended the Timber Drive Elementary school returned for a student clap-out in which they were celebrated for their achievement.

Seniors who will graduate from Garner Magnet High School next week spent part of this week visiting their former elementary school in their caps and gowns. As they reminisced and saw former teachers, the graduates also inspired the current elementary students, making for an emotional day at Timber Drive Elementary School.

Heather Riesebeck, a 17-year-old senior, said she was glad the younger students were excited to see the seniors walk through.

“It shows you what a glimpse of your future can be,” Riesebeck said.

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Conner Kocher, a graduating senior, walks through the halls of his former elementary school on June 5, 2019 at Timber Drive Elementary School in Garner, NC. Graduating seniors who attended the elementary school in Garner returned for a student clap-out in which they were celebrated for their achievement. Bryan Cereijo bcereijo@newsobserver.com

While the elementary schoolers got a look at their future, the seniors got a look at their past.

Savannah Hamrick, 17, recalled walking the very same halls years ago.

“I remember all my teachers, all my classmates and I remember this place was a lot bigger than what it is now,” she said. “It was really cool to come back here.”

Riesebeck and Hamrick were in the same kindergarten and fifth grade classes, both taught by Kendra Ferrari.

Ferrari had a large group of the graduating seniors as kindergartners during her first year at Timber Drive Elementary. For the group’s fifth grade year, Ferrari happened to be asked to teach fifth grade and she was reunited with the students.

“It was really cool to get to see her again,” Riesebeck said. “She knew us all by name and gave us hugs and was really excited to see us.”

Ferrari said she had tears in her eyes when she saw the seniors.

“I think the best part was being a family with them. Crying together, laughing together, watching them grow up,” she said.

Some of the seniors have even come back and volunteered in her classroom.

Hamrick said that she felt her foundation at Timber Drive Elementary helped her get to where she is today.

The seniors ate cake in the media center after walking the halls, and posed for many pictures together. The group burst out into the elementary school’s song while all sitting at the kid-sized tables.

“This group was magical,” Ferrari said. “Even when they’re not your own children they become your own children.”

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