This morning, more than 450 Duncanville High School seniors visited all nine elementary schools in the school district to touch the hands of the future. The graduating seniors, many of whom were able to return to the elementary schools they attended, shared high fives and encouraging words with the younger students.
The interaction with the soon-to-be high school graduates had a meaningful impact on fourth grader Rumalda Dominguez.
“Seeing them do it makes me think I can do it,” Rumalda said. “If you think about it over time, it seems very far, but if I believe in myself, I see myself accomplishing my goals right now.”
Many of the seniors took the opportunity to see their elementary school teachers. Bilhartz fourth grade teacher Hans Kocher reconnected with a former student.
“As the seniors were walking by, one of them recognized me as their fourth grade teacher here at Bilhartz almost a decade ago,” said Hans Kocher. “Made me feel old, but what he said made my year.
“‘Mr. Kocher, you were one of my inspirations after fourth grade. Every time I wanted to give up or thought why am I doing this, I asked myself, what would Mr. Kocher tell me?’ He came back later and asked if I would go to his graduation next Tuesday,” Kocher said. “I said yes, and he handed me a ticket.”
Senior Isaac Soto said he would have benefitted from participating in a ‘Senior Walk’ during his elementary school years.
“If that ever occurred to us when I was that age, I would have gotten pumped up,” Isaac said. “I would have been like, I want to be there too and would have pushed harder.”
Soto, who is in the top 10 in his graduating class, is the first in his family to graduate. As the days get closer, he said his mom is getting emotional.
“She started to cry this morning,” Isaac said. “She said you make me happy. You make me very happy.”