The Class of 2017 welcomed senior kindergarten students into the first grade on Tuesday, May 30 in the fourth annual Kinder Coin Exchange.

Families gathered outside Nicholas Commons to watch as their young senior kindergarten students received a gold medallion from their senior buddies. The medallions serve as a welcome into the first grade and are intended to be carried with the young students through their graduation in 2029.

The symbolic exchange also marks the end of a year-long partnership between seniors and senior kindergarten students. At the beginning of each school year, seniors are paired with a senior kindergarten buddy to help guide them through their first year at Parker. The Kinder Coin Exchange symbolizes the end of that partnership and the start of a new journey for both classes: As the Class of 2029 embarks on a new journey within Parker, the Class of 2017 embarks on a new journey beyond Parker.

After the gold medallions were exchanged, seniors were handed a symbolic “Key to Parker” by current alumni. The soon-to-be graduates will be the newest members of Parker alumni when they receive their diplomas at Commencement this Saturday, June 3.

“As someone who has been here since kindergarten, as a true lifer, it’s so fun to see the Parker experience come full circle. It’s such an important experience,” said Caroline Wohl ‘16, who helped hand over the “Key to Parker” to incoming alumni.

At the conclusion of the event, students, parents and alumni were treated to cake at Nicholas Commons.