Jonathan Tinoco, a member of the Reading School District Board of Directors, returned to his third-grade classroom at 10th and Penn Elementary in a visit organized by current principal Dr. Rowbee’C Kasisky (known as Dr. Row Kasisky).
During a small ceremony, Tinoco’s name that he had inscribed on the wall during his elementary years, along with his classmates and teachers’ names, was revealed from behind a bulletin board.
The surprise peaked as the district successfully located Tinoco’s third-grade teacher, Lisa Schmehl, who taught him during the school’s inaugural year in 1997. She was a first-year teacher at the time, and Tinoco was reunited with her.
“Reuniting with my third-grade classroom and teacher after all these years has been truly heartwarming,” said Tinoco. “I vividly recall September 5, 1997, when Ms. Schmehl, my classmates, and I commemorated our time together by signing our names on the wall. It’s incredible how time has passed, yet the spirit of that moment remains.”
Today, the classroom hosts another first-year teacher and a cohort of second-grade students, signaling the passage of time and the continuation of the school’s legacy.
Tinoco reminisced about Ms. Schmehl’s nurturing demeanor, sharing how she inspired his ongoing legacy of compassion by providing snacks and caring for students’ needs. This sentiment has led him to regularly carry food around Reading, offering aid to those in need.
“This ceremony was a special moment for our school community,” said Dr. Row Kasisky. “Witnessing the rekindling of connections between past and present, seeing the names unveiled, and fostering a sense of continuity among our students has been truly inspiring.”
The ceremony concluded with this year’s second graders adding their signatures behind the bulletin board. The hope is that in another 25 years, these signatures will echo the timeless link between generations at the school.