PAOLA – Paola students from preschool to fifth grade to high school seniors were recently recognized with signs in their yards and parades.

Fifth-graders drove through the Sunflower Elementary School and Cottonwood Elementary School parking lots for the USD 368 Farewell Parade on Thursday, May 21.

Students were greeted by teachers waving and holding signs of encouragement for them like “Follow Your Dreams,” “We Love You,” “Mrs. McDaniel loves her 5th-graders,” “Have A Great Summer,” “We Miss You, See You in the Fall,” and many more.

Fifth-grader Daven Morris held a sign out the window during the parade that read “Thank You All!!! Draven, Mom and Grandma.”

Jackson Bollinger’s ride, a red pickup truck, was draped with a long sign on the side that read “Thank You Sunflower!”

Carolyn Lohaus-Fast and her mother Karla drove through the parade route with a van decorated with signs reading “We Love Sunflower,” and “We Love Cottonwood” with notes for each of the teachers at both schools.

Royce Berry was waving from the car he was riding in.

Emery Green was in a van with a sign on the side reading “Thank You,” “Miss You.”

Haliegh West, a senior, got her picture taken next to a “2020 Grads” sign in front of Paola High School.

Brandon Flynn waved from his vehicle during the parade with a sign reading “Class of 2020.”

SonShine Preschool, based out of First Lutheran Church, put signs in the front yards of its Class of 2020 graduates.

Preschool director and board member Kristin Fuchs was busy on the morning of Wednesday, May 20, putting the signs out.

One of the graduates, Alex Hardwick, got his picture taken with his diploma in front of his sign with parents Abby and Travis.

“To ensure the safety of our preschoolers and their families, the SonShine Preschool Board in conjunction with the director made the decision to postpone preschool graduation until more COVID-19 restrictions are lifted,” Fuchs said. “A date has not yet been set, but our hope is that we can honor our SonShine graduates with a ceremony later this summer.

“In the meantime, each Kindergarten bound preschooler received a yard sign commemorating their graduation from preschool,” she said. “Thanks to the SonShine Preschool Board for their help in accomplishing this task.”

Paola High School has planned commencement exercises for 10 a.m. Saturday, July 11.

No date has been set for the SonShine Preschool graduation.

Sports Editor Gene Morris can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or gene.morris@miconews.com.

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