This article originally appeared in the summer 2015 Harker Quarterly.
Grade 8 Promotion Ceremony Marks End of Middle School Years
Every year, the grade 8 promotion ceremony heralds the eighth graders’ exciting transition to high school. Held in the middle school gym on June 5, the ceremony poignantly marked the end of the students’ middle school years.
Parents and students were shepherded into the gym, accompanied by the music of the Grade 6 Orchestra, under the direction of Dave Hart. Cindy Ellis, middle school head, welcomed the students and congratulated them on reaching this important milestone and beginning a new stage in their academic lives. A celebration slideshow, put together by Taylor Vaughan, Claire Newman and Elise Mayer, all grade 8, delighted both students and parents alike. Patricia Burrows, middle school English teacher and Class of 2019 advisory dean, then gave a moving farewell address to the soon-to-be upper school students, encouraging them to welcome the many opportunities that await them over the next four years. Next up was a beautiful performance of the song “Stand Together” by Harmonics and Vivace, the middle school vocal groups directed by Monica Colletti and Jennah Somers, and Hart, respectively.
A welcome address to the Class of 2019 was delivered by rising senior Michael Zhao, who will be next year’s upper school ASB president. Following that, the eighth graders received their promotion certificates from Chris Nikoloff, head of school, along with Ellis, who made some warm closing remarks.
The ceremony concluded, as in years past, with the singing of “The Harker School Song,” followed by a recessional and well-attended reception in the amphitheater. Ellis also had created a small gift – a dragonfly pendant attached to a note explaining how the insect’s metamorphosis is a symbol for the students’ tremendous transformation during middle school. Along with the token, a personal note of appreciation to each family was distributed as the parents exited the ceremony.
Grade 5 Students Bid Fond Farewell to Lower School During Touching Promotion Ceremony
Grade 5 students received a warm send-off at a touching promotion ceremony held in the late afternoon on June 4 in the lower school gymnasium.
Members of the Class of 2022 officially ended their time as lower school students during the ceremony, which opened with a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance by class president Uma Misha. Kristin Giammona, elementary division head, then greeted the students, parents and faculty in attendance. She congratulated the students on reaching this important next step in their academic careers.
The grade 4-6 dance group Dance Fusion, led by Gail Palmer, delighted the audience with a performance to the song “Take on Me.” Following that, a slideshow recapping the entire school year was shown and then the excited students walked up to receive their promotion certificates.
Kellie Binney-Smart, lower school choral music teacher, led the newly promoted students in the songs “When I Close My Eyes” and the “The Harker School Song,” after which incoming middle school ASB president and rising grade 8 student Avi Gulati gave a speech welcoming the newest middle schoolers. Kate Shanahan, grade 5 English teacher, then offered a heartwarming send-off to the class.
Giammona closed the ceremony with a final farewell. The students and their guests then enjoyed a reception featuring a “Class of ’22” cake and other treats.