On-campus year-end celebrations offer closure, comfort and joy
A mix of rain and shine was in the cards for on-campus closing celebrations, but nothing could dampen the joyful sense of togetherness students, staff, faculty and parents experienced on June 15 and 16 at the Junior School, and June 18 for Middle and Senior School students, following this year’s virtual Green Carpet Celebration.
"It was an incredible feeling,” says Junior School French teacher Erna Relle. “It was so wonderful to share a moment with each of the students, and praise them for their strength and resilience, but also to remind them to catch their breath this summer. Seeing them again in person brought happiness and inspiration, and watching them play with one another was so comforting."
Following a virtual Junior School Closing Ceremony that celebrated their accomplishments during an extraordinary year, JK to Grade 5 students were thrilled to greet each other, picking up yearbooks, artwork and belongings, and enjoying a celebratory popsicle and even some dancing, while reconnecting with friends and teachers, June 15. Grade 6 students had their own special celebration on the West Lawn, June 16, including the opportunity to take their picture with their teachers.
“All things considered, we couldn’t have asked for a better end to the school year,” says Assistant Head, Junior School, Andrea Mills. “The sun was shining, music was playing and you could see the smiles in people’s eyes, despite the masks. Even students who learned virtually all year joined the celebrations. For some, it was the first time seeing friends and teachers in person and out of a Zoom box; it was amazing! It was the right thing to do, bringing people together, even for a short visit, before the summer.“
Across the road, Grades 7-11 students braved the rainy weather to take part in an Outdoor Yearbook Pick-Up and Farewell Event, June 18. These in-person visits gave students a chance to say farewell to teachers and advisors, and brought a sense of closure to the school year.
"It was so great for our students to have a chance to end the year off on a high note, by seeing their peers and saying goodbye to their teachers,” noted Siamak Boroomand, Assistant Head, Senior and Middle School. “Everyone was smiling, even with the rain.”
Faculty member Denise Smith was thrilled to see everyone together one more time, and noted the unmatchable sense of student energy and excitement that came with being physically present together, as students gathered belongings and yearbooks and caught up.
Hopefully, these moments are just a taste of what’s to come.
“The faculty, staff and students were all equally excited to see one another, providing a sense of life getting back to normal, while shining a bright light on our return in September,” says Head of Rowing Scott Fleming.