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On final day, sixth-graders get a flamboyant farewell

As “Pomp and Circumstance” played on the piano, Jefferson Elementary School sixth-graders paraded around the gym Wednesday for an opportunity to have multi-colored confetti drizzled over their heads, a long-time tradition at the South Hill school.

Principal Mary-Dean Wooley started the practice 20 years ago. Paper from shredders and hole punchers is saved all year and handed out to staff, faculty and parents at the year-end assembly.

It’s a sort of passage to middle school.

“I don’t know what they’d do without it,” Wooley said.

“I’ve looked forward to it,” said sixth-grader Tanner Comes. “But now it’s down my shirt and a little uncomfortable.”

The young graduates whooped and hollered as they exited the crowded gym, slapping high-fives and hugging. Some quickly shook off the paper pieces while others checked out their confetti covering in a mirror.

Said Wooley, “When the confetti shower is over, there will be confetti all over. People will find it in their underwear.”

Rebecca Burks waited – digital camera in hand – for her daughter to make the loop so she could capture the moment.

Burks’ daughter, Julia Presnail, took the confetti with grace. The girl is thrilled to be moving on to Sacajawea Middle School, Burks said.

“She’s really adventurous, so she’s not scared. I know she’s excited to go where her brother went, and really glad he won’t be there.”

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