Eighth Graders Advance to Upper School

Eighth Graders Advance to Upper School

Eighth graders officially became high school students on June 13, 2024.

Middle School Chaplain Mel Robinson offered an invocation at the start of the ceremony. Head of School The Rev. Michael Spencer made opening remarks and congratulated the students.

Head of Middle School Ann Sulzer shared her reflections on the class of 2028, noting that when the students started Middle School, which was right at the end of Covid restrictions, they couldn’t go on their class trip—so they gathered in the Commons in front of a fire projected on a screen. “It didn’t make a difference to this class” said Sulzer. “They performed magic tricks, demonstrated mind reading, danced, and even shared a lesson about the wonders of physics. Some of these students had just met two weeks earlier, and yet they stood in front of their peers and shared their talents and passions, confident and uninhibited. They have continued to do that throughout their years in Middle School. This is a class that has learned how to respond to change while very much retaining their individual and collective sense of self.”

After touching on other high points—including the fact that the girls basketball team won the league championship for a second year in a row—Sulzer noted that their eighth grade year did end with a class trip, rafting on the Deschutes, but no campfire due to dry conditions. The class was undaunted. “They enjoyed stargazing and appreciations for each other, filled with genuine tears and laughter that were just as joyful as that first experience in the Middle School Commons, but now deepened by friendships and connections that they have fostered over the last three years.”

The eighth grade choir then sang “A Million Dreams,” with Lucas W. ’28 and Andy B. ’28 singing solos. Class speaker Winston W. ’28 shared their remarks.

Faculty members from across OES made speeches honoring each individual student’s achievements, followed by the presentation of the promotion certificates.

The whole class sang “Lean on Me,” led by Middle School Humanities Teacher Charley Adams on guitar, before the closing benediction by Chaplain Mel.

Please note: Your division head’s office will share a link to all photos captured at this ceremony in an email to families later this month.