This article was originally published in the summer 2012 Harker Quarterly.
With bittersweet feelings, grade 8 students closed one academic door and opened another during their recent promotion ceremony. Held at the Blackford campus, the event celebrated the conclusion of their middle school years, while simultaneously heralding a meaningful next step towards transitioning on to their high school careers.
Following a brief processional, the ceremony got underway as Chris Nikoloff, head of school, welcomed and congratulated the students on reaching this important milestone. Then, Alexander Mo, grade 7 and incoming middle school student body president, led the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. After that a slide show, created by Natasha Mayor, was shown commemorating her and her fellow eighth graders’ time at Harker.
The farewell address was warmly delivered by Patricia Burrows, middle school English teacher and advisory dean for the Class of 2016. She wished them well as they begin the next phase of their educational lives.
As Burrows exited the podium, the middle school vocal groups Harmonics and Vivace performed “Simple Gifts.” Next up was Raghav Sehtia, incoming upper school student body president and rising senior, who took center stage, welcoming the graduates to high school.
Finally, Nikoloff and Cindy Ellis, middle school head, awarded the students their much anticipated promotion certificates, cementing their status as middle school graduates. The ceremony officially came to a close as the grade 8 class sang a heartfelt rendition of the Harker school song.
“The promotion ceremony is a celebration of the class as they move on to high school,” said Ellis, reflecting back upon the event. “It is filled with nostalgic views of the eighth graders during their three years in middle school while projecting the potential and promise of future accomplishments. This year’s event was all that in spades!” she recalled, noting that Harker wishes the middle school graduates the best and hopes the visit often.