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Teachers and staff at Mountain View Elementary School wave goodbye to students on the last bus as they leave school for summer break Friday afternoon. (Amanda Cowan | Corvallis Gazette-Times)

At many schools, the end of the school year is marked by no more ceremony than a pack of kids running for the door as soon as the bell rings.

However, Mountain View Elementary School is not most schools.

On Friday, the ceremonies to mark the end of the school year began with an honor guard of Boy Scouts from Troop 170 retiring the flag, complete with a performance of “Taps” on a trumpet, and singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” led by the school’s fifth-graders.

Then teachers, parents and the school’s kindergarten- through fourth-grade students lined the halls and high-fived the fifth-graders as they left the school.

The day ended with the teachers lining up to wave goodbye to the students as the school’s buses departed.

Friday was the last day of school for the Corvallis School District. Philomath School District’s last day of class is June 19. Monroe School District’s last day of class was June 6, and Alsea ended its school year Thursday.

Rosemary O’Neil, Mountain View’s principal, said she has slowly built up the end-of-year ceremony at Mountain View since she started at the school seven years ago.

“It’s grown in popularity with parents over the last years,” she said.

O’Neil said the end of the school year is bittersweet for educators, too.

“A lot of teachers cry when they say goodbye,” she said.

The ceremony has extra significance for O’Neil this year; she is leaving Mountain View for a part-time position in the district office next year.

“I’m practicing retirement,” she said.

Now that school is out, O’Neil said, she will take a trip to the beach and reflect on teaching.

“It’s been wonderful,” she said. “You can’t beat the profession.”

Adia Wolters, a departing Mountain View fifth-grader, said she has mixed emotions about leaving the school for the last time: She is ready to move on to middle school, but she said she’s enjoyed her time at Mountain View.

The end of the school year, she said, “is exciting and sad. It’s a little worse this year because in past years, you always knew you were coming back.”

Anthony Rimel covers K-12 education. He can be reached at 541-758-9526 or anthony.rimel@lee.net.

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