OES eighth graders celebrated their promotion to high school on Thursday, marking the end of a year of community-building, growth, and learning. Head of Middle School Ann Sulzer spoke of her appreciation for this year’s eighth grade class and their willingness to adapt, support each other, and stay together during their challenging school year.
“One thing we have all shared, that we have all done together, is we have all learned,” Sulzer said. “Our lessons vary, but we are all walking into the months to come with greater understanding about ourselves and each other, about our society, and our world. And if anyone knows this lesson, it is our eighth graders.”
Indeed, this year’s eighth-graders learned much about themselves, their classmates, and their communities, local and beyond. They faced the ups and downs of Covid restrictions, the changing formats of school, and wore masks all school year long. Students and families enjoyed a much-deserved celebration of their class and gathered together one last time.
“Whenever I used to complain to my parents that something was hard, their response was, ‘You can do hard things,'" said Sulzer. "Eighth graders, this year has been incredibly hard—and here you are, you have made it through an impossible year. You have persevered, you have learned, and you are here, present for each other with compassion, empathy, and joy. You have learned more than you know, and I hope you remember that you are capable, and that you can do hard things.”
“If nothing else, I hope this past year has taught you the importance, the deep gratitude, and appreciation for just being together in community, in friendships, and with family,” Sulzer concluded. “Eighth graders, however long you have been here, and wherever next year takes you, it has been so wonderful to be together with all of you.”
Congratulations, eighth graders!
More photos from the ceremony will be sent to eighth-grade families next week.