The members of the Class of 2022 were celebrated, challenged to continue growing, and cheered on to Upper School during the Eighth Grade Closing Ceremony, held today, Friday, June 1.
Sarah Baker, eighth-grade dean, led with the invocation, calling the students "goal-setters, innovators and dream-makers" who have great potential to make a positive impact on their peers and the wider world.
"But this year, students, I find that it's you who have inspired me," she said, listing some of the class's projects and initiatives she has found most meaningful. Of their Ravens in Action presentations earlier this spring, she said, "This year's forum was so remarkable. ... All of you were engaged in what you chose. It has inspired me to reexamine my own commitment to service, and I've gotten involved again with an organization I used to volunteer with, as well as doing some work with a new one.Denise Colpitts, head of the Middle School, greeted families, students, faculty and staff. She noted that she has always found sayings, quotations, and scriptures to be inspirational in her own life and often shares them with students at ceremonies such as this one.
"So thank you, eighth-graders, for becoming the teacher and letting me be the student," she added.
She shared a quote from Anne Frank — "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world!" — and closed with a challenge for students. Handing out green wristbands bearing the phrase "Commit to today," she said, "Let's commit to one more act to bind you together as a class."
Following the recognition of Middle School faculty whose outstanding work or longevity has been recognized by the school and a fun slideshow of memories from the year, the eighth-grade advisors recognized each of their advisories with reflections and parting words. Each eighth-grade student was then recognized, crossing the stage to congratulations from Colpitts; Tinnie Salzano, assistant head of the Middle School; and Head of School Doreen Kelly. Peter Bogue, head of the Upper School, was also there to welcome students into the next stage of their lives as Ravens.
Families then enjoyed a reception to celebrate their students' milestone.
Special thanks to fine arts faculty and students for providing the music during the ceremony: processional, "English Folk Song," performed by sixth- and seventh-grade strings students under the direction of Pamela Kelly; the National Anthem, led by Zoe King '22; tribute, "Unpainted Canvas," performed by the sixth-grade and Middle School choirs under the direction of Cameron Bolin; and recessional, "King William's March," performed by seventh-grade strings students under the direction of Kelly. S.K. Chipley accompanied each performance.
Above, clockwise from top left, eighth-grade advisor Katie Barnwell shares reflections on her advisees; the choirs perform; Denise Colpitts presents certificates to the Class of 2022; strings students perform.