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Lincoln Elementary hosts last day send-off

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A Lincoln Elementary student waves during a drive-by send-off on Wednesday, June 3, outside of the school. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

BEMIDJI -- School’s out for the summer for students across much of the state, but on Wednesday, some Lincoln Elementary students kicked off their summer vacation by seeing their teachers in-person for the first time in months.

Lincoln Elementary hosted a drive-by send-off to give students an opportunity to wave goodbye to their teachers. Some waved out of decorated cars, other children held out signs, flowers and cards for their teachers. Two students even arrived in style in a motorcycle sidecar.

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Students and families pass by during Lincoln Elementary’s drive-by send-off on Wednesday, June 3, outside of the school. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

“We wanted to be able to say goodbye to students since we weren’t able to in March. It was a very positive event,” said Jason Luksik, Lincoln Elementary principal. “We appreciate all of the support from families and students in moving to distance learning and look forward to welcoming everyone back for a new school year in the fall.”

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He said he received lots of positive feedback from staff members who were excited to see students’ faces again.

“I’m holding the tears back. It’s been wonderful,” teacher Darlene Riewer said during the event. “This was very, very awesome to be able to see them and say goodbye.”

Luksik estimated that two-thirds of Lincoln school families attended the drive-by send-off, about 225 people.

“It’s hard to not have the school full of children, lots of buzz in the building -- it’s been a lot quieter lately,” he said.

Students were sent home with report cards, yearbooks and a free book to jump start their summer reading.

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A student waves out of a sunroof during Lincoln Elementary’s drive-by send-off on Wednesday, June 3, outside of the school. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

Hannah Olson is a multimedia reporter for the Pioneer covering education, Indigenous-centric stories and features.
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