TAMPA — The kids at Walker Middle School know that their last week before summer vacation is different from that of kids going to most other middle schools.
Walker, being a magnet school, is a place where many of the students go their separate ways when it comes to high school in August. Walker’s eighth-grade class, for example, has kids who will be attending at least eight different high schools come fall. So, since the last semester, this has truly been a long goodbye.
The eighth-graders are confident that they can keep in touch through social media, but it won’t be the same. They won’t be the big kids on campus anymore, kids who have been together for at least the last three years. Now they will be the little freshmen whose friends are likely off attending other schools, feeling the same way. But not everyone is worried.
“I am kind of looking forward to it,” said Andrew Kim, who will attend Hillsborough High School next year. “I have so many great memories of Walker. We were county champions in soccer and I made a lot of friends, but now it’s time to make some new ones.”
Samuel Roshaven will be headed to Middleton High School next year. He promises to stay in touch with his friends from Walker, but he’s a little bit apprehensive about moving to the next level.
“I am a little scared of leaving Walker because we had so much fun here,” he said. “I don’t think it will be hard, because here at Walker, we knew everybody after our first year. We might be going to different schools, but maybe it’s for the best. We’ll stay in touch.”
Ever since Sara Vosoughi started playing softball in the Lutz area and started attending Walker, she’s had plenty of experience meeting new friends. She’ll be going to Steinbrenner next year. She is taking a lot away from her time at Walker, but she said that the thing she is happiest about is learning about “international things” and how to get along with different types of people. She wants to go to college in California and work in theater and on screenplays, but she said for now it is going to be sad leaving her friends. Like most of the Walker kids, she said she plans to stay in touch through social media.
“My time at Walker was really inspirational,” Sara said. “I learned so much and the teachers taught us so much about life. I know things will be different, but maybe in a good way.”
Finally, there is Faith Jankowski, an accomplished musician who will be playing violin at Robinson High next year. She said she’ll miss her teachers most of all. She’s looking to get into the Robinson music department, but she knows there will be some tears along the way.
“I will remember the teachers and friends at Walker,” Faith said. “I know Robinson will be fun, but Walker will always be special to me.”