Memories mixed with hugs and tears were part of New Discovery's last days and moving up ceremonies as their final graduating class of preschoolers readied for the next step.
The school, which has been part of the Kings Park Community for 29 years closed its doors at the San Remo building last week, but is hoping to find a new location soon.
For Eileen Ciresi, a teacher’s assistant at the school for five years, the day is a cause for celebration and a time of sadness.
“I am happy for the children, but sad because New Discovery won’t be any longer,” said Ciresi.
Lorraine Leone, a teacher at the school for 22 years, handed out hugs and diplomas to each of the children. Her tenure at the school has allowed her to see children and their siblings move on to kindergarten, some coming back to the after care program.
Owner Kathy Ebert says she hasn’t given up looking for a new place and said she wants to stay in Kings Park.
“I think I can work it out. I want to stay here. It is a wonderful community to work in,” she said.
Ebert flipped through a photo album filled with old class pictures; beginning with the second year the school was open. Hair styles have gotten straighter and clothing styles have changed, but caring teachers have been on staff throughout the school's history.
"The staff here is gold, 24 carat. A wonderful group of people. I don't want to let them go," she said.
As Ebert looks for a new place, she is clearing out some of the old things and hosting a this week. She hopes families wil stop in to visit and say their goodbyes.
“It’s a bittersweet time,” said Ebert. “There’s a celebration of all the children that have been at New Discovery and then there’s a feeling of sadness in not knowing what’s coming next.”