Back to (elementary) school: Graduating seniors reunite with their former classmates in La Jolla

Seniors graduating from various local high schools who went to Bird Rock Elementary reunited June 3.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

As local high school seniors prepare to head off to universities and experiences beyond La Jolla, many of them took an afternoon to return to elementary school.

Both Bird Rock and Torrey Pines elementary schools held reunions June 3 for graduating seniors who attended their schools, inviting the alumni to reconnect and reminisce.

About 25 former Bird Rock Elementary students gathered on the school’s upper field, many wearing a sweatshirt from their future university.

They chatted and hugged one another and talked to parents and their former elementary school teachers who came to see how their former charges had grown.

BRES kindergarten teacher Alisson Tomasulo organized the event, as she often has during her time at the school. This year, her daughter was a graduating senior attending the reunion.

“It’s really fun to have the parents attend,” Tomasulo said. Parents and students alike “were champing at the bit” as they waited for the gate to be unlocked, she added.

Michelle Dallal’s daughter, a La Jolla High School senior, attended the BRES reunion, which Dallal said was “fabulous. It’s so exciting. She’s very happy; the memories give you goosebumps. [There are] a lot of memories on this field.”

BRES alumna Izzy Wiseman, who is graduating from High Tech High in Point Loma, said reuniting with her former elementary school classmates “is really nostalgic. I see us running around as our little selves, not having a care in the world, not stressed about studying or college.”

La Jolla High senior Patrick McMillan said: “I think it’s really cool seeing everyone back here and all the teachers, too. I just saw my kindergarten teacher.”

About 40 Torrey Pines Elementary School alumni attended the school's senior reunion.
(Sarahbeth Wintringer)

About 40 former Torrey Pines Elementary students attended the school’s reunion at Cliffridge Park, said TPES alumna Arissa Lelevier, a senior at Cathedral Catholic High School in Carmel Valley.

She said she attended the reunion “to see everybody, because since I don’t go to La Jolla High, which is where everyone went, I haven’t seen them as regularly.”

“I had such great memories at Torrey Pines,” she said, “and I’m still friends with a lot of people, so it’s exciting to see everyone.”

The TPES reunion, organized by staff member Sarahbeth Wintringer, also included conversations with teachers, some of whom offered their former students doughnuts.

“The teachers were awesome,” Lelevier said.

LJHS senior and TPES alumnus Alex Tikhonov said being at the reunion “feels amazing. We haven’t seen each other in so long, and it’s really good to see everyone excited and happy.”

Lelevier said she’ll most remember sharing “really specific, really random memories” with her elementary school friends. “Little things stick to you. You make an impact.”

La Jolla Elementary School will hold a similar reunion Thursday, June 10. Further details were unavailable. ◆