The Taylor Performing Arts Center was full of joy and feelings of nostalgia as the current 28 sixth-grade students said goodbye to their Lower School journey during a graduation ceremony in their honor.
As part of the Hamden Hall tradition, the students performed the school song for the final time as Lower Schoolers before transitioning to the stage to perform the song It’s Possible from their spring musical production of Seussical KIDS.
Lower School Director Lorri Carroll addressed the soon-to-be graduates noting how they have grown and learned from one another over the last six years, saying they are ready for the next challenge: entering seventh-grade.
“It has been an honor to watch you take on student leadership positions and become role models for the younger students,” commented Mrs. Carroll. “Your ability to create a welcoming environment is a testament to you. From greeting new students on the first day of school, to creating lasting memories with your PreSchool/PreKindergarten buddies, to celebrating the diverse voices and perspectives of one another, you have embraced everything with patience and I could not be more proud.”
Mrs. Carroll remarked how there is always a singular moment during the year where it clicks that the students are ready to move on. This year, it was during a special lunch outing hosted by Head of School Bob Izzo. While observing the students in conversation, she noticed their poise and graciousness, which was the ‘ah hah’ moment for her. She left the students with a few words of advice before the distribution of the diplomas.
“Always remember to embrace the challenges, support one another, do not give up, and a person is a person, no matter how small,” she said, her final reference relating to the sixth-grade musical.
With smiles and a feeling of accomplishment, the students stood and walked across the stage to receive their diploma from Mr. Izzo. As the final student returned to their seat, Mr. Izzo offered congratulatory remarks.
“You have made great strides in growth, and we could not be prouder of you,” he said. “I am impressed by your words of kindness for each other and your teachers. While kindness is not part of our five core values, each student has demonstrated it and left a mark on the Lower School community. As you move on to Middle School, you will be challenged academically, but you are ready. Please get involved and find avenues that are fun and meaningful. Remember, you will always be part of the Hamden Hall family as we are one community.”
Mr. Izzo also honored Grade 6 teachers Andrea Calendrelli and Beth Hunter for their dedication and commitment to the success of the students. The ceremony concluded with a trip down memory lane as Mrs. Carroll presented the students and their families with a special slideshow presentation full of photos throughout the years.