There's something trending in the halls of the Upper and Middle School this last week of school, two Chase kids, Aneesh Avancha '18 and Logan Pronovost '22, are preparing their speeches for the end of the year ceremonies. And what is the common thread between each speech? Community, change, and friendships; and no, these Chase kids didn't plan to summarize their experiences at Chase so similarly!
Both tremendously honored by their teachers choosing them to represent their peers during Commencement and Chase's 8th Grade Closing Ceremony, Avancha and Pronovost are hesitant to give away any spoilers from their speeches, other than general themes.
"I don't want to give it away," laughed Avancha. "The theme is going to be change because we've been the class that has experienced the most change throughout our time [here at Chase]." Also aware of the many changes facing the 8th-grade class, Pronovost plans to talk about how change is "...really not an end; it's just a beginning." He explained, "I don't want to give too much away, but I just talk about our class and how we've grown as a family, and yeah, how much I appreciate our teachers."
And it is those same Chase teachers that bestowed the honor of Commencement and Closing Ceremony speakers on these two Chase kids, based on each of their abilities for public speaking, involvement in extracurriculars and community events, and the connections they've made with their peers over the years. So, how did Avancha and Pronovost react when they received the news that they'd be representing and speaking on behalf of their graduating classes?
"When I found out I was chosen as speaker, I was just completely floored," stated Avancha, who explained that right after getting the news he had to calmly sit through Senior Tea with tons of ideas and emotions floating through his head. "I honestly wasn't expecting it... it's an honor. I'm very tight with the other thirty people in my grade and to be able to represent them on such a special day - it means a lot to me that I was chosen by the faculty."
Similarly, Pronovost's initial reaction was one of happiness. "I was honored when I figured out that I was going to be the class speaker," he explained. "I feel happy that I am going to represent everyone in my grade. I just want to say thank you to everyone... I mean, I love Chase, I've been here since I was three."
And never the types to shy away from public speaking, both of these Chase kids are rehearsing and eager to get up to the podium. "I'm practicing it now," explained Pronovost abou this speech.
"Public speaking doesn't bother me," laughed Avancha, when asked if he has any nerves about the day. "I'm actually really excited for it. I like a lot of people there [in the audience]. It'll be fun."
Prepared but admittedly nostalgic during this time of transitions, both kids reflected on what they will miss about Chase.
"Just all the fun I've had with my friends," laughed Pronovost. "Moments when I can laugh and grow as a person."
"I've had a lot of close friends and close relationships with faculty, and I'm hoping to get that at the next level in college as well, but we'll see," echoed Avancha, who plans to study biological physics and pre-med at Brandeis University in the Fall. "That will definitely be the thing I miss the most - coming to school every day and knowing everybody and being familiar with everybody.""
As he reflects on his time as an Upper School student, Avancha fondly remembers the senior camping trip at the start of the school year, when each member of the senior class had the opportunity to sit around a campfire and share their hopes and goals for the future with each other. And have those hopes and dreams come true?
"We all wanted to get to college, and we are all going there," joked Avancha. "So at the end of the day, I guess we did it."
Hear all that Pronovost and Avancha have to share during Chase's 8th Grade Closing Ceremony on June 7th at 9am in the Fulkerson Arts Center, and Chase's 150th Commencement Ceremony on June 8th at 10:30am on the South Lawn.
~Kelly Ann Oleksiw
Digital & Social Media Specialist