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08 June . 2017

Stowers Elementary Clap Out

 

Where does the time go? It’s hard to believe but Stowers Elementary School’s first class of fifth graders are now high school graduates.

To celebrate, more than a dozen of the students, including several FishHawk Ranch residents, returned to campus recently to enjoy the school’s annual “Clap Out” tradition. The school’s students, teachers, staff and parents cheered on the fifth graders and graduates as they walked through campus dressed in their caps and gowns.

It was an event that even earned the school some coverage from WTSP-TV reporter Bobby Lewis, who featured the Clap Out on the evening news.

There were plenty of high fives, cow bell ringing (a nod to the school’s cowboy mascot) and teary-eyed parents stretching to take cell phone photos and video as the parade of 100 + students and grads made their way along the sidewalks and up to the media center.

“I felt like I was famous,” said High School grad Peyton Ford of the applause.

For many of the seniors, it was the first time they’ve been back on campus since they attended Stowers. During a small reception, the students looked at their old class pictures as they caught up with their fellow school mates and teachers while enjoying cupcakes.

“I remember it was really fun,” recalled Logan Hyder, of his time at Stowers. “I met a lot of good people, and people that I’m still friends with today.”

After elementary and middle school, Stowers’ first graduating class of 80 students fanned out to Newsome High, Riverview High or Lennard High. A few attended private schools or moved outside of Hillsborough County to other parts of Tampa Bay. School administrators spent months tracking down all the students in that first fifth grade class to invite them to the Clap Out.

“Our Clap Out tradition celebrated the journey of our fifth graders going on to middle school and our graduates going onto college,” said Dustin Robinson, who will be the school’s assistant principal next year. “We were so happy to have the graduates join us and we wish them well as they start their college careers.”

After the pomp and circumstance of the event, the graduates posed for a photo in the school garden with principal Catherine Lennard.