(VAN, Texas) -- One school started a new tradition that the administration hopes will inspire younger students to aim for college after graduation.
More than 150 seniors at Van High School in Texas strolled the hallways in their caps and gowns as elementary and middle school students in the same school system cheered them on in what's know as the "Senior Walk."
The inaugural event was captured by the school's journalism department and the photos, which have since been shared on Facebook, have gone viral.
Van High School Principal Jeff Hutchins told ABC News that he and Superintendent Don Dunn, who oversees students from pre-kindergarten to twelfth grade, came up with the "Senior Walk" after they saw a similar activity on social media.
"We just thought the idea really fit into our central theme that 'after high school comes college' and we wanted those little kids to place a face on that dream," Hutchins explained. "And so to see those seniors walk through the campuses, we just felt that it would be an impressionable moment for those students."
It was also a memorable moment for the seniors themselves, graduating senior Christina Bowman told ABC News.
"For the seniors, it was kind of a bittersweet thing especially for kids who have been going to the school since those grades," she said. "You get to be honored like this, but then you realize it's one of the last times you get to do this with your school.
"I felt pretty honored," Bowman, 18, added.
Hutchins said the Van Independent School District, which includes five campuses for students in elementary, intermediate, middle, junior high, and high school, was "surprised" by all of the attention the photos received on social media. He added that it's helped the community heal especially after a tornado tore through the area last year, destroying the elementary school.
"So the community has really come together," he added. "It's obviously going to be a tradition moving forward."
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