GRANDVIEW — For some of the high school’s graduates, Friday’s return appearance to their elementary school brought back memories.

Augustin Cortez was one of several members of the class of 2019 to return to Harriet Thompson Elementary School.

His kindergarten teacher was Jennifer Arteaga, who was a first-year teacher during the 2006-07 school year.

“It was exciting to see her and brought to mind a lot of memories,” he said.

Noah Palomarez said, “It was amazing to finally be in the shoes of seniors, giving back to the little kids.”

He remembered being one of the many elementary school students lining the halls of the school, holding his hand out for the graduates of 2007 to connect with.

Arteaga said, “It was exciting to see so many of my first students in their caps and gowns.”

Teary-eyed, she hugged those she recognized, stating there are many who have either had siblings in her classes in the past 12 years or who have stayed in contact.

“I was a brand new teacher,” Arteaga recalled as the song Celebrate Good Times played in the background.

The graduates poured down the hallways of the school, inspiring the young students who grace the classrooms they once occupied.

Fourth-grader Mylee Armendariz said, “It was cool because there were a lot of people I knew.”

Carlos Gonzalez, another fourth grader, said he wants to one day serve as a mayor, giving speeches.

The sight of all those graduates coming down the hall reminded him he would need to work hard and get good grades to realize his dreams.

“It would be awesome to be like them one day,” Gonzalez said.

For graduate Arturo Ochoa, the experience was wrapped up in one word, stated by all… “Exciting.”

Jennie McGhan can be contacted at 509-837-4500, ext. 114 or email

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