Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda middle students participated in drive-by promotion celebrations on Thursday.

Teachers and administrators cheered and waved as the students said goodbye. The kids were handed goody bags and lanyards from their teachers.

B.J. Richards, who is retiring, waved to her students for the last time.

“I’ll miss the kids, but I’m looking forward to traveling and finding new hobbies,” Richards said.

Principal Scott Nicklas handed out treats for the students and personally said farewell to each one of them.

Less than 30 minutes away, students at Port Charlotte Middle School were going through the same ritual.

Port Charlotte Middle School Principal John Leclair handed out promotional packages to each of the graduating eighth graders, as they passed through the parent pick-up line.

Tyrone, the school mascot, waved to the kids from the sidewalk as the parents honked their horns.

Teacher Laura Pucci held the eighth-grade mural poster up for the everyone to see.

“Normally, the students make it every year, but this year I had to do it myself,” Pucci said.

Cars were lined up for several blocks as parents waited to make their final lap around the school parking lot.


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