Wednesday’s promotion ceremony marked an important milestone for the class of 2023. Attended by supportive parents, faculty and friends, the event reflected both the heartfelt sincerity and togetherness we have grown to love in this class. In his well-prepared and expertly delivered speech, 8th-grade President Konner Smith ‘23 remarked, “In a way, middle school has been a warm up for a much bigger game — the next four years of high school as well as the game of life. Our warm ups over the last three years have not only been worthwhile and needed, but filled with laughter, challenges and memories.”
Before the ceremony, 8th graders gathered in the lobby of the Edward St. John Athletic center to share a few moments with friends and teachers.Upon hearing the first notes of "Processional" from Pomp and Circumstance played by teacher Ms. Amy Benfield, they filed into their seats as the crowd looked on with pride. Eighth-grade Vice President Rohan Lakhanpal '23 led the Pledge of Allegiance followed by welcoming remarks from Middle School Head Dan Keller. Mr. Keller reflected on the maturity he has seen develop in this class from their first days on Teel Campus.Konner Smith '23 took the stage to address his peers. Sporting a jersey to symbolize the analogy that shaped his speech, he led the crowd on a journey through the 6th, 7th and 8th-grade experiences that have prepared them for the next big stage of their lives.
“While the last three years showcase many fond memories, it also shows that we are truly warmed up and ready for the next step. Our teachers warmed us up by guiding us when needed, letting us stumble to grow and helping us be the best that we can be. Our families warmed us up by sending us here in the first place, making sacrifices along the way, and giving us their time, help and care. Finally, we got each other ready as classmates by supporting each other on and off the field, encouraging and respecting each other, and making great friendships along the way.
Friends, while it may be time to take off our warm-up jerseys for high school, my hope is that we always remember why we put them on in the first place — to warm up our focus, skills, unity, confidence, and integrity. We are truly ready to hit the courts running and I can’t wait to see what we can do together in our futures in high school. Go, Admirals!”
Our eighth graders crossed the stage one by one to receive their promotion certificates from Headmaster Lagarde before standing together as a class for the cheering crowd.After closing remarks from Headmaster Lagarde, 8th graders shared hugs and handshakes with Middle School faculty. This class is truly ready to make new memories, overcome new challenges and continue to laugh together through their years in Upper School and beyond.
Well done class of 2023, we can't wait to see you in the fall!