Mini Mustangs graduate amid cheers and tears

A Mini Mustang celebrates graduation with a hug from mom.
A Mini Mustang celebrates graduation with a hug from mom.

Mackenzie Pierce – LRHS News

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – The LRHS Mini Mustangs said goodbye to the Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten chapter of their lives on Wednesday when they graduated.   

The ceremony started with teacher Cass Schutte introducing each so-called Mini as they walked in one by one.  This was followed by the Minis singing two songs and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance for the last time as a class. 

The first song, “Count Your Blessings,” was taught to the Minis by classmate Quinn Krug at the beginning of the school year.  Krug sang the first chorus of the song by herself at graduation and then the rest of the Minis joined in.

Junior Sara Scott is a teacher in the LRHS Early Childhood Education (ECE) program and attended the ceremony.  She was touched by the song. 

“When Quinn sang it was very sweet; they’ve all come such a long way in the past year,” she said. 

The second song was a rendition of the seven dwarfs’ song “Hi-Ho” from Disney’s “Snow White,” but instead of “work” they’re going off to “kindergarten.” 

The 2015 Mini Mustangs' graduation included caps, gowns and diplomas.
The 2015 Mini Mustangs’ graduation included caps, gowns and diplomas.

“Hearing them sing the kindergarten song was by far my favorite part,” said Mini mustang parent and LRHS science teacher Hollis Morantes. 

After they sang, Schutte presented the Minis with their diplomas as teacher aide Christina Mohr symbolically moved their tassels from left to right. 

“It was amazing; it was very sad, but the parents were all very appreciative,” said Schutte. 

Morantes praised the program.

“Ms. Cass has really prepared the students for kindergarten,” she said.  “I know my son is ready and I’m so excited for him.” 

Schutte’s gift from the class was a book of all of the student’s favorite things that they learned from her. 

“I absolutely love it, especially the written notes from each of my Minis.  I’m going to miss them so much” Schutte said. 

Scott agreed that the Minis would be very missed. 

“The graduation was actually emotional for me because I work with them everyday and for the first time today, it hit me that I won’t get to see them next week,” she said. 

The ceremony was followed by cake and an art exhibit of all of the Minis’ artwork throughout the year.