Teacher fulfills promise to students 12 years later

ROTTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A Capital Region elementary school teacher makes good on a 12-year-old promise to her former kindergarten students.

That promise was to attend their high school graduation.

“Why thank you that’s beautiful.”

They were a gift that was better than a mere apple for a teacher who this weekend proved how dedicated. It all happened during the Mohanason graduation ceremonies.

Senior Matthew Janke had just delivered the keynote speech in front of his proud family, but theirs weren’t the only beaming faces in the auditorium.

“When I walked off the stage after getting my diploma, my kindergarten teacher Mrs. Griesemer was right there,” Matthew said.

Matthew didn’t know it then, but this pat on his shoulder was part of a promise 12 years in the making.

“It was a promise that when they graduated from kindergarten, I would be at their high school graduation,” Lynette Griesemer, Kindergarten Teacher, said.

Griesemer made good on that promise that she made when Matthew and his fellow classmates were kindergartners at Bradt Primary School.

“My eyes lit up I saw my kindergarten teacher. I don’t think I could have been happier, I haven’t seen her in years,” Connor Tope, Mohanason grad, said.

“Hearing her call my name saying congrats,” Roxy Demidio, a grad, said.

“She handed me an envelope and I didn’t open it until I got home,” Anna Newman, a grad, said.

“She handed me an envelope with my name on it,” Matthew said.

Every one of Mrs. Griesemer’s 22 graduating students received an envelope. Inside was a photo of them in kindergarten, pictures they had drawn, and a letter.

“Congratulations on your on your graduation. Wishing you miles of smiles on your graduation,” part of the letter read.

“I never thought she would do this for all of us,” Matthew said.

“You know in Kindergarten you have these folders of work and every year, I have another folder,” Lynette said.

She says she expects to do it until 2033 when that will be her last graduating kindergarten class.

“I expect to be at every graduation for as long as I can get there. Even if I have to be in a wheelchair, I will get there.”

Lynette says this is the second class she has done this for.

She says she has another box ready for the class of 2018.

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