Teachers and students lined the halls of Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy Friday morning to say goodbye to their friends.
The Gainesville school system marked its last day of classes Friday, and Enota said goodbye to its fifth-graders with an annual celebration called the “elephant stomp.”
Principal Wesley Roach led a parade of fifth-graders down the halls one last time, giving the students a chance to say goodbye to their old teachers and the younger students.
“It felt amazing,” said Ebot Agborsangaya, who started at the school in kindergarten. “I felt like I was getting a lot of glory, but I was sad at the exact same time, because I may never see some of these people again.”
Iliana Cordova said it was a fun way to spend her last day at Enota.
“I got to look in my old classes again,” she said. “And all my teachers I’ve had in the past hugged me and wished me good luck.”
Her classmate Janae Willock started at Enota in preschool. Janae said she made new friends in every grade and looks forward to making new friends and her new teachers at the middle school.
Janae said seeing her old teachers on the elephant stomp was “actually a little hard.”
“The one that made me the most emotional was my kindergarten teacher,” she said. “I was in her class six years ago, and now I’m going on to middle school. It’s just emotional.”
Fifth-grader Jack Coley said he felt nostalgic walking through the halls once more, and his classmate Reed Slack agreed.
“It’s really fun,” he said.
Fifth-grader Natalie Brown started at Enota in first grade and will also go on to Gainesville Middle School next year. She said she’s “kind of nervous” about starting middle school, but her time at Enota has been “the happiest time of my life.”
Iliana said her family is moving to Loganville next year, so Friday was her last day in Gainesville City Schools.
“My mom is becoming a senior pastor at the Orchard Church,” she said. “So it’s kind of extra emotional for me, because I’m leaving all my friends that I’ve made since kindergarten.” Her mother is Wendy Cordova of the Gainesville First United Methodist Church.
Iliana said her favorite thing about elementary school was making new friends and “having an adventure every day.”
Her classmate Allison Pineda agreed.
“I’ve been here seven years, and I’ve liked making new friends and all the fun things we get to do at school, the field trips and different activities,” Allison said. “But I’m looking forward to getting to know new teachers and getting to grow up a little more.”