After learning at a distance, students thank teachers with a parade

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David Aguilar, a student at Masuk, thanks his teachers during a parade in the school parking lot Monday.

MONROE, CT — Underclassmen returned to Masuk High School Monday afternoon to thank their teachers and say goodbye in a car parade.

Driving in cars decorated with signs expressing their appreciation, students honked their way through the Masuk parking lot as teachers waved them on.

Justin Scarpati, a physical education teacher at Masuk, decorated his car for an end of year parade in the Masuk parking lot Monday.

“I came out here today to … say goodbye to all the teachers,” rising junior Tiffany Monteiro said. “I miss them.”

After two months of distance learning, students and teachers were happy to see each other outside of their virtual classrooms. Physical education teacher Justin Scarpati said he missed interacting with students, but it felt great to see them at the parade.

“I didn’t realize how much being at home and isolated away from [school] really felt until I got to come out and see everybody, the teachers and all the students. It’s good. It’s uplifting in so many ways,” Scarpati said.

Spanish teacher, Joel Castillo, waves to his students during a parade at Masuk Monday afternoon.

Mike Ganino, one of the organizers, said administrators, parents, and friends of Masuk created the event in a group effort to do something special for the teachers and the underclassmen.

“It’s great to see the community come out and support [our teachers], from the seniors down on to the freshman class. It’s nice to see the spirit of Monroe,” Ganino said.

Roberto Chavarria just finished his first year at Masuk. Chavarria said he started the school year a little apprehensive due to the portrayals of high school life in movies and TV, but, once at Masuk, he loved the school and its easy-going environment.

“The teachers were very nice, and it was a great year. I loved it,” Chavarria said. He added that the parade brought about “A good sense of closure to have the teachers feel like they did a good job.”

Roberto Chavarria, who will be a sophomore at Masuk next fall, participates in a parade thanking his teachers for their work this year.

Math teacher Karen Charpentier said she enjoyed the parade and seeing her students at the end of the year.

“It’s wonderful, I have really missed them and I am so glad to be here, and also very surprised and excited by how many of them showed up. So, it’s really, really nice,” Charpentier said. “We definitely didn’t have those nice final activities and moments that we all love and the ceremonial passing on to the next year, the next class. It felt very sudden and incomplete, but this really helps.”

Photo gallery

This photo gallery shows more scenes from Monday’s parade. Click on an image to enlarge and scroll through:

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