Joy & health to you all summer long!

North Branch School Graduation 2011

On Friday, June 7th, seven students graduated from the eighth grade at North Branch. The ceremony included music, several performances by different classes, thank-yous from Charlotte, a goodbye to Shani and Regina, and gifts to the teachers. Each graduate spoke; several performed a musical piece. I was struck by a few things while watching the ceremony: these students are thirteen or fourteen, yet they all seemed very comfortable speaking in front of a fairly large audience. I think this is partly because of Friday assembly. Assembly is a regular part of the week at North Branch – half an hour each week that students get up and share lessons or perform a song or music. By the time they get to eighth grade, they are unusually comfortable with public speaking.

The graduates perform with Katrien one last time

Each student also had very specific, fond memories of things that happened up to eight years ago, which is a long time when you’re fourteen! The graduates remembered things like: Sarah complimenting them on a block structure in kindergarten, watching Monarch butterflies grow in Natasha’s second grade class, particular friends they made in nursery and learning multiplication with Robin and Toni. Happily, each of these teachers was  present to hear their former students reminisce. The graduates also had wonderful and funny things to say to their more recent teachers. It was all a testament to the longevity of the teaching staff at North Branch.

The teachers were thanked with pottery by Trina Player
Louise, Addy and Tess sang "Imagine
Ben had specific thanks for teachers all the way back to kindergarten
Louise enlisted her fellow graduates for an improv song
Stephen thanked his teachers and parents and then played Canon in D on the piano
Louise, like many of her classmates, had fond memories of watching the monarch butterflies grow in Natasha's 2nd grade class
Dakota had one of my favorite quotes of the evening: "She taught us about the real world, which, as far as I can tell, is kind of boring."
Addy was the 2011 graduate who had been at North Branch the longest
Tess read from Desiderata for part of her speech
Lawson got a big laugh when he presented the school with an eyeglass repair kit

You can see other pictures of the North Branch graduation at Stephanie Gross’ website:

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