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Kids graduate Hawaiian style

Garden Isle Montessori kindergarten class of 2002 grads (from left) Benjamin Lacasse, Joye Jackson, Caleb Farmer, Lily Pesavento, Kohl Keil, Ellen Krotow and Todd Breslauer, with diplomas in hand await the recessional to offically end their graduation Tuesday - Cynthia Woolbright
Garden Isle Montessori kindergarten class of 2002 grads (from left) Benjamin Lacasse, Joye Jackson, Caleb Farmer, Lily Pesavento, Kohl Keil, Ellen Krotow and Todd Breslauer, with diplomas in hand await the recessional to offically end their graduation Tuesday
— image credit: Cynthia Woolbright

It was a day of celebrating achievements and looking forward to things to come. It was also a day for pre-schoolers and kindergarteners to do the Hukelau, sing songs, do the hula, wear vibrant Aloha prints, flip-flops and floral hokus.

One by one, Garden Isle Montessori school kindergarten class of 2002 stepped to the microphone and introduced the high school graduating class of 2014.

Some shied away from the group of parents and friends and were barely audible, others hammed it up, but the repeated message was the same, “My name is Benjamin Richard Lacasse and I am your future”... “My name is Joye Jeannine Jackson and I am your future.” The future can also be seen in Caleb Daniel Farmer, Lily Mae Pesavento, Kohl Herman Kiel, Ellen Kristen Krotow and Todd Michael Breslauer.

In between running around with fellow Aloha print-clad friends and making trips to the big toy on the grounds of Garden Isle, a blonde and bubbly Ellen Krotow, age 5, stopped to check in with her proud parents who are inspecting her “graduation diploma.”

“We’ll probably frame it and hang it on her wall,” said Ellen’s mom, Geri Krotow.

The pint-sized kindergarten grad has started thinking about the other diploma in her future and possible post-high school plans. Ellen, who “loves to draw,” hopes to be a fashion designer.

For Oak Harbor residents Kohl and Gretchen Keil, ages 5 and 3, the Hawaiian luau Tuesday was more than just a graduation test run, it was also a little taste of life to come. Their father Lawrence, who was attached to VR-61, will transfer in July to Marine Corps Base Hawaii, in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, and bring along wife Naomi and the children.

And pre-schooler Gretchen is already getting used to the native Hawaiian attire: “I liked my grass skirt, it’s so pretty.”

Video cameras rolled and cameras snapped pictures non-stop in the afternoon sunshine as grads like Kohl Keil gathered in groups to mug for shots, and then frantically run off to swing on the monkey bars.

According to Darrellyn Currier, of Garden Isle Montessori School, international themes are often chosen for the school’s graduations.

“We are just fortunate to have such supportive parents, this turned out just beautiful,” Currier said.

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