Thursday, June 30, 2016


I have often said I don't get the concept of 8th grade graduation. In our township I'd guess 90% of the graduates after attending middle school for two years are walking across the parking lot to go to high school next year, with the rest going to private, Catholic, or a high school in a new town, where they will expect to graduate. It was different in the inner city alternative middle school where my mom used to teach. There many of her students would not graduate from high school, many ending up in gangs or jail, or both. 

With that said, I loved Ashley's 8th grade graduation. For them it is a true ending. The 29 of them will never all be together again. Some of her classmates started at the school 11 years earlier in the 3 year old pre school class. Others started that year when their Catholic school closed. Ashley started in third grade. Six years in one building is a long time.

From the school day mass
Her graduation ceremony was broken into different parts. First there was the during the school mass where they wore caps and gowns and sang their graduation song. Father Gerard talked about his time at a Catholic high school when his parents had to pay the astronomical sum of $25 a month (or something like that) and hoped he wouldn't get in (he did). A week and a half later was the actual graduation.

The first half of the June 3 service
My favorite picture of Ashley
from the day
was a mass. Father Gerard even told a new homily with advice for the graduates, such as Be the Hands of Jesus. They said a Parents' Prayer of Thanksgiving, and the graduates sang the secret graduation song: "I'll always remember you" by Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana. Ashley kept the details of the secret from me because she knows I am not a Hannah Montana fan. I love the chorus:

But yesterday's gone, we gotta keep moving on.I'm so thankful for the moments, so glad I got to know ya'.The times that we had, I'll keep like a photographAnd hold you in my heart foreverI'll always remember you

A fitting song to sing at the end of era.

Then began an hour of the usual graduation "pomp and circumstance." You might think with only 29 students it couldn't take that long, but it still took an hour to distribute diplomas and hand out the many awards. We spent at least another half an hour taking pictures and chatting with family not going to the post-graduation party with us (we had a limit).

Some pictures from the day.

Ashley with the awesome Miss Shields

Getting ready with Maddie, Bridget, and Dora 

The processional

Love the smile, but wish it was clearer

Giving flowers to the parents

Receiving an award

After graduation with Lassya, Rose, and Veda

Dora and Ashley with their prayer buddy, Grace

Ashley will be joining Carly and Reilly next year

With the grandparents

With Father Gerard
The rose she gave me and the carnation she carried

School Spirit Award

Diploma with class picture

President's Education Award for Outstanding Academic Excellence
(All As since 6th grade and 90th percentile and above on
Terra Novas)

After graduation we went to the post party hosted by the 7th grade parents at a country club. The theme was Around the World, which I loved, and fits their home room teacher's passion for international travel. I did not take many pictures at the party.

The goody bag included many treasures: a tee-shirt mysteriously signed by everyone, a class picture on the playground, a mug, a box for memories, a photo album with a few starter photos (which I provided), and some candy. This week a photo montage/video the Klinks put together arrived in the mail as another treasure.

The class has already started to disperse. A couple of days after graduation one moved to Florida and will attend a performing arts high school, another is moving to Pennsylvania. Of the 29, 18 are going to Notre Dame together, the others are going to local public, private, and Catholic schools. They probably won't ever all gather together, but they'll always have graduation and many other memories.

No comments:

Post a Comment