One of my favorite end-of-year traditions took place on Wednesday. Those seniors who had made their way through Chase Collegiate Middle School, returned to St. Margaret's Hall for lunch. No doubt there was enticement from the pizza that was offered to them; but, it was also a chance to relive their time in the middle school. Accompanying the lunch were yearbooks from their 6th, 7th, and 8th grade years as well as a slideshow. The photos were joyous, funny, awkward and every other adjective that often accompanies those adolescent years. Stories about the DC Trip were recalled; they laughed upon seeing their costumes for the annual bowling extravaganza; and, they reminisced about time with their teachers.
Being with them today provided me with a very contrasting experience. In front of me were capable, articulate, confident young adults who are clearly ready to embark on their college/university years. They thoughtfully shared their aspirations and anxieties about what lies ahead. While each spoke . . . my thoughts went back to who they were 4, 5, and 6 years ago. Sure there are those characteristics that they have carried with them—wit, sarcasm, humor, attitude—but there is also that growth that has burgeoned over the last four years. There is a poise and sophistication that is simply not there in middle school. They reflected on some of the highlights of their time together, but also recounted some of those less-than-positive moments. With those latter recollections, they were quick to explain how much they have grown and matured since then. They are right.
Taking a step back and thinking of them 'then' and seeing them 'now' is really special. Their path from adolescent to adulthood is the most certainly result of their efforts, but also the contributions of others. With assistance from parents to teachers to classmates . . . these seniors have seized opportunities and been resilient in the face of challenge. This is a special class and I look forward to joining you in celebrating them, and all our students from Pre K – 3 through high school on the culmination to the year. Bravo!