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Lincoln elementary schools celebrate the end of a tough year by bringing back old traditions

Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 7:57 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The last day of the 2020-2021 school year looked a lot like that of a normal year.

Belmont Elementary students began the day by competing against their teachers in the school’s annual teacher versus student soccer game.

“Normally the teachers are teaching us, but now we get to go against them,” Graidys Hernandez, Belmont Elementary fifth-grader said.

Across town, Zeman Elementary fifth-graders took part in another tradition, being cheered on by the rest of the school, marking the end of their elementary years.

“It was a really good feeling,” Melanie Gondringer, Zeman Elementary fifth-grader said.

These activities have been done by generations of Lincoln Public School students, but the principals of those schools tell me this year they mean a little more.

“Honestly I was not quite sure that we all expected to be here finishing up a really crazy year but we did it and we are super excited,” Rik Devney, principal of Zeman Elementary said.

Kim Rosenthal, principal for Belmont Elementary, said these moments today made the tough ones worth it.

“It feels really good,” Rosenthal said. “It means all of our precautions were worth it, all of the changes were worth it, all of the things we didn’t get to do were worth it. It’s paid off and now we get to have our soccer game.”

Both Rosenthal and Devney said today is a day for them to celebrate everything they’ve overcome this year.

“They had a really crazy year, they’ve been through a lot and they met the challenge head-on,” Devney said. “They deserve every minute of this celebration.”

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