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High school seniors visit old elementary school before graduation

Kicking off the month-long countdown to graduation
Catalina High School Seniors
Posted at 6:42 PM, Apr 24, 2023

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Catalina Foothills High School’s soon-to-be graduated seniors are only a month away from the special day. But before they took the next step forward, they took a look back and spent some time at their elementary school, Ventana Vista.

The visit was much appreciated by their first-grade teacher, Laura Perrella. “It’s so nice to see them grown up,” she said. Perrella had been saving pictures and other memorabilia for this moment.

“I went through my classroom library and found pictures of the students, stuff on my wall with pictures of them, and just tried to find memorable things that I’ve held onto all these years,” said Perrella.

It brought back a lot of memories for two best friends, Mia Sternberg and Christiana Lincowski. They sat at the bench where their friendship started 10 years ago.

Mia Sternberg recalled, “I was new and I was lonely and she was very out there. She was a very loud kid, she was very out there. She walked up to me and was like ‘Hey what’s your name?’” From there, the rest was history.

“Yea and then we became best friends. And it was very ironic because we met on the ‘Buddy Bench’ that’s made for kids to find more friends. Like if you’re feeling lonely or you need a friend to play with then you come sit on this bench,” said Sternberg.

Another pair of best friends were also reminded of the first time they met. Their story was a bit different.

“We just hated each other. We were both friends with the same friend and then in third grade she threw a rock at me,” said Beverly Cassell about her friendship with Bella Peterson.

The two eventually became friends and enjoyed looking back on what they had been through together. They said the visit helped them build their confidence in taking their next step.

Reyna Preciado is a reporter for KGUN 9, she joined the KGUN 9 team in July of 2022 after graduating Arizona State University. Share your story ideas with Reyna by emailing or by connecting on Instagram, or Twitter.