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Last class graduates as St Basil's Tiny Tot Nursery School closes after 40 years

By NICOLE HART

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - It's the end of one chapter and the beginning of another for one local nursery school.

"I decided that I wanted this to end with me," said Cheryl Salvo. "I know what I put into it from my heart and I know other people are capable, but it's gotta retire with me."

And with that, the very last graduating class at Saint Basil's Tiny Tot Nursery School in Utica walked across the stage on Friday. The graduating students sang at the top of their lungs, paraded around in their costumes, and finally, were handed their diplomas.

This is a graduation ceremony with a 40 year tradition: a tradition carried on by Salvo throughout the decades.

"All good things must come to an end," she said. "I don't want to retire, I feel good, but it's just time to move onto other things. I've been lucky for these 40 years and I figured, it's time."

Jennifer Scaparo, a former student of Salvo's, watched own daughter graduate Friday.

"Mrs. Salvo is wonderful and the community is going to really miss out on having her here," Scaparo said. "Hers is a wonderful career and she's going out with a bang."

Salvo thanked her family during Friday's ceremony and offered students and parents some parting words.

"I just want to say thank you to every parent, grandparent, these children," Salvo said. "Everyone who has supported me because they have made a wonderful life for me...I feel like I've done something worthwhile and I've made a little difference."

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