Teacher sends students off with Harry Potter surprise at first
WEST SALEM, Wisconsin (WXOW) – Kim Volden surprised the graduating class of 2021 with a Harry Potter gift that represents the freedom of adulthood, decision-making and life after high school.
The Elders asked Ms. Volden to deliver the opening speech at the in-person ceremony on Sunday.
Principal Grace Brigson said her class made the students happy during a difficult year.
“If every teacher was like her, I think a lot more kids would enjoy high school,” Brigson said. “Just going to her class was such a breath of fresh air. He’s just such a great human person.
“We might be in difficult times, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t times of joy just yet,” Volden said.
During his speech, Volden asked the elderly to get under their chairs, remove an envelope, and open it for his last literary reference and surprise. Volden put a pair of socks in each envelope to symbolize the sock Harry Potter gives to Dobby the house elf in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
The socks represent staff giving students the freedom to take what they’ve learned in school and apply it in the real world – essentially saying they’re ready.
“I wanted them to know that at this point you’re free,” Volden said. “You are able to go ahead and pursue the life of your dreams, not the life someone else is prescribing for you.”
Brigson is used to this kind of creative gesture from Volden.
“She’s so smart that way though. It wasn’t surprising that Ms. Volden did this. I’m so thankful that she added her own version of the speech for sure,” she said.
Intelligence was crucial in getting teachers and students through another year of COVID-19 changes.
“I felt like they had to come out with something a little bit special and unique because they deserved it,” Volden said. “They’ve spent a year and a half trying to teach the COVID world and they’ve been soldiers. I’m so proud of them. They’ve done a great job.”
“Everyone is so passionate about what they do. They always make their students feel good about their jobs, ”said Brigson. “So I think being an English teacher is what I want to do because of them.”
Volden asked the Headmaster for permission before putting the socks under the chairs. She recorded them herself on Saturday night.