Neighborhood parades honor Farmington Schools graduates

by Beverly Church

A cherished tradition at Hillside Elementary in Farmington Hills has graduating seniors who attended the school parade through its hallways greeting and encouraging the younger students.

That tradition ended when the COVID-19 pandemic closed the school in April. However, parents got together to honor seniors with a different sort of parade – a May 30 car parade through the neighborhoods surrounding Hillside. The parade featured graduates from both Farmington High School and North Farmington High School.

Elizabeth Coleman, NFHS
Hillside alum and North Farmington High grad Elizabeth Coleman (Beverly Church)

“Because the graduating seniors have had so much taken from them during this pandemic, we wanted to try to do something special for them,” said Cheryl Fried in a letter to local families. Fried’s son, Max, is graduating from North Farmington.

Luke Shaheen, NFHS
Hillside alum and North Farmington grad Luke Shaheen (Beverly Church)

Elizabeth Coleman, who is also graduating from North Farmington, said that while she misses not being able to participate in many senior traditions, she appreciated having the parade.

“I’m glad Mrs. Fried stepped up,” she said.

First responders join in

Another senior parade was held Saturday for graduating seniors who attended Kenbrook Elementary.

Morgan Hoke, NFHS
Kenbrook alum and North Farmington grad Morgan Hoke (Beverly Church)

Two fire engines and a police car led the parade through the Kendallwood neighborhood. Among those cheering the students was Dawn Blair, whose son, Ty, is graduating from North Farmington High School.

Farmington Hills fire truck
A Farmington Hills Fire Department truck led the Kenbrook parade. (Beverly Church)

“It’s been hugely important,” Blair said about special events like parades that have been held for seniors in lieu of more traditional events. “It’s been fun for him, fun for us, and fun for the grandparents, so I’m very thankful.”

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