Alice Boulanger receives a pre-k diploma certificate from her teacher, Sarah Burnette, at a pre-k graduation Wednesday night at Meroby Elementary School in Mexico. Standing in back is University of Maine at Farmington practicum student Nicole Pilote of Farmington. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

MEXICO — Being away from school and friends for more than two months has been hard for many youngsters.

But Wednesday evening was a happy occasion for one class as their teachers celebrated them in person with a pre-kindergarten graduation at Meroby Elementary School.

With the students and their parents/guardians practicing social distancing in their vehicles in the parking lot, each student and family members wore masks as they walked to the outside of the school, called up by a written sign displayed by teacher Sarah Burnette’s 13-year-old daughter, Ava Burnette.

Graysen Wilson looks at his teacher, Sarah Burnette, as she presents him with a diploma cap during a pre-k graduation Wednesday night at Meroby Elementary School in Mexico. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times

Burnette and education technician Tammy Lynn Perry stood at two class tables they put together, which displayed portfolios containing photos and all the work each student did throughout the year, and a goody bag which included a thank you note from their teacher, and personalized books titled, “Kindergarten, here I come!”

Most of the 16 class members were able to attend the 40-minute ceremony, which also included their teacher placing a diploma cap on each graduate and presenting them with a pre-k diploma certificate.

In turn, most of the students presented their teachers with plants. Youngsters also had a brief opportunity to talk to teachers before walking over to the front of the Meroby sign for photos taken by family members.

Assisting the teachers was University of Maine at Farmington practicum student Nicole Pilote of Farmington, who noted that she wanted to be here to celebrate these students.

Since the close of school, Burnette said she has posted activities every day for her students, and met with them twice a week over Zoom.

She noted, “85 percent of them were engaged every week.”

Principal Kim Fuller said photos of the event are posted on the Meroby Elementary School’s Facebook page.

Mason Cushman carries two bouquets of flowers to present to his teachers, Sarah Burnette and Ed Tech Tammy Lynn Perry, at a pre-k graduation Wednesday night at Meroby Elementary School in Mexico. Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times


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