5th Graders Welcome the Future With a Celebration of Severn Values

Fifth graders conveyed mixed emotions to the audience of family, faculty and friends at the promotion ceremony on Tuesday. As each student took the stage to deliver heartfelt speeches, they expressed gratitude for their time at Severn Lower School and nervous — but confident — excitement for the big jump to sixth grade. The leadership skills and self-confidence they’ve gained have well-prepared them for the new challenges and experiences that await them in middle school.

A Look Back Before Stepping Forward

Just minutes before the ceremony, our 5th-grade classrooms were abuzz with energy as the group watched a slideshow of their time together on Chesapeake Campus. They laughed over sweet and funny memories — everything from drama performances and class presentations to silly moments on the playground.
Severn School elementary school students watch a slideshow of favorite photos
The highlight of the slideshow — matching baby pictures with 5th grade photos.

Memorable Moments

After a brief introduction by Headmaster Doug Lagarde, our talented faculty choir sang a rendition of Shine Your Way by Owl City and Luna while Caleb Morgan ‘ 21 accompanied on the piano.
Severn School teachers sing at the 5th grade promotion ceremony
Faculty singers Ms. Custer, Ms. Coogan, Ms. Okeson, Ms. Zemo and Ms. Howell (not pictured: Ms. Padro, Ms. Gaylord and Ms. Cranford)
5th graders took the podium to share anecdotes that exemplify meaningful character traits — be brave, be artistic, be persistent, be kind. Their words echoed Severn's core values of character, conduct, scholarship, leadership and service.
Severn School elementary school student speaks at a podium.
Alaina ‘26
Although each student’s story was unique, there were common threads throughout. They spoke of their Renaissance classes in which they explored creative and technical outlets outside of the normal curriculum. They reminisced about Battle of the Books, Destination Imagination, performing at assemblies and working with younger students during Helping Hands…the list goes on. Each student had a different moment to share, but together their words reflect the vibrant energy of this class.
Severn School elementary school student speaks at a podium.
Finn ‘26
They spoke of supportive relationships with teachers and friends that made their years on Chesapeake Campus so meaningful. These foundational mentorships and friendships will continue to grow and deepen as our students move from middle to high school and beyond.
Severn School student receives their promotion certificate from teachers.
As each student crossed the stage, Ms. Kitchin and Ms. Hayman offered big smiles and words of encouragement.
Lower School Head Cathy North shared touching remarks before each fifth grader crossed the stage to receive their promotion certificates with a handshake from their teachers and Mr. Lagarde. Our 5th graders gathered one last time to sing farewell to the 5th grade and welcome new adventures just around the corner.
Severn School student stands with teacher.
Confident and proud smiles all around.
Severn School elementary school students sing at an assembly.
Their final performance together on Chesapeake Campus.
To celebrate the day and their achievements, every fifth grader received a piece of cake with their name on it, symbolizing the unity of the class of 2026 and the individual paths they will each follow.
Severn School students get a slice of cake after the 5th grade promotion ceremony
The most important part...cake!

To the Class of 2026

Excerpted from Ms. North's remarks from the ceremony, "As you transition to middle school, my hope is that you remain true to yourselves and hold on to the things that are important — as well as challenge yourself to learn and try new things. Reflect upon your strengths, grow from your mistakes and celebrate your accomplishments. Your experiences and the anchor of what’s in your heart will guide you. Congratulations, it is with great joy that we honor each of you.”


Lower School

Preschool-Grade 5
Chesapeake Campus
1185 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd
Arnold, MD 21012

Middle/Upper School

Grade 6-12
Teel Campus
Severna Park, MD 21146