SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – It’s the first of many graduation ceremonies for the students and parents who filled Foster Memorial Church Wednesday morning. But, it’s the last graduation ceremony Foster Memorial Preschool will ever hold.
Wednesday’s ceremony was a bittersweet farewell for nearly everyone in attendance.
“It’s very sad,” says parent Jamie Wrey. “It’s very sad to know that we have to say goodbye to these people and that my little one won’t be able to come here.”
“I’m sad for the future, for kids that have missed out,” adds fellow parent Carrie Bergeron. “It was, like I said, a great year and I know that other children have really benefited from it, as well.”
One of the school’s biggest assets — teacher Linda McCarthy. She’s been teaching at the school for more than 20 of the school’s 50+ years in Springfield.
In fact, the school’s been around for so long that many once-students become parents and end up taking their kids here, like one of the parents in attendance today.
“It’s just been wonderful, they are the kindest, most gentle women and I’m honored for my children to have come here,” says Wrey.
Many of parents at Wednesday’s graduation have even younger children. Now they’re left scrambling to find a new preschool and a new teacher.
“He’s going to stay home with mom because I can’t find a preschool that matches this,” says Wrey.
“I’m disappointed that it couldn’t stay open and I’m sure a lot of other people with smaller children are as well, because it really was an incredible asset to the community,” says Bergeron.
The preschool was originally set to close in December, but parents fought to keep it open a few more months so they could watch their kids graduate.