Hamden Hall Country Day School

Educating students in PreSchool through Grade 12

Virtual Graduation Ceremony Heralds Rising Seventh-Graders

Lower School Director Lorri Carroll told sixth-graders that the 2019-2020 school year was “amazing,” despite the fact that “we didn’t have the ending that we planned.”

Nonetheless, 30 sixth-graders became rising seventh-graders this week during a virtual ceremony that featured students receiving actual diplomas as presented by their family members. Mrs. Carroll delivered the certificates to students’ homes prior to the ceremony along with a graduation program, the Playbill from the Sixth-Grade Musical We Are Monsters and, perhaps the best item in the gift bag, a Hamden Hall keychain with their new swipe card for use on campus as Middle Schoolers!

“These sixth-graders have been stellar role models in our community - through the example they set at assembly, their leadership in our community service initiatives, and for their inspiration for all of us to take care of our Earth,” said Mrs. Carroll. “They are certainly a class that will long be remembered.”

Part of that remembrance will be the school’s first virtual graduation ceremony. Students and their families – from as far away as South Korea and China – tuned in and watched prerecorded offerings such as sixth-grader Andrew Yang’s trumpet performance of the National Anthem. Various Lower School faculty members also offered well-wishes and remarks to the graduates including Lower School theater teacher Lisa Daly.

“I’ve done shows with some of you since my very first show when you were in third grade,” she said. “I so appreciate your spirit of giving to each other and cheering each other on.”

Viewers were treated – as they would be during an in-person sixth-grade graduation ceremony – to snippets from the virtual Sixth-Grade Musical, We Are Monsters, the entirety of which was performed online earlier in the week for the Lower School community. Students practiced and recorded their parts of the play during twice-weekly Zoom meetings with Ms. Daly and Lower School music teacher Rachael Jungkeit.

Click here to view the performance.

For the presentation of diplomas, sixth-grade teachers Beth Hunter and Andrea Calandrelli announced the student’s name and added sentiments about each one. A photo of the student was also featured on the screen. Some students, such as Anya Carter and April Schwartz, donned caps and gowns for the occasion; while Timothy Nixon had graduation decorations hung on the wall behind the couch where he and his parents sat.

Also on hand for the event was Head of School Bob Izzo, who congratulated parents for making a “significant investment” in their child’s education.

“Our sixth-graders are well on their way to making our world a better place,” said Mr. Izzo, who also noted that the distance learning skills they acquired over this last semester of the school year would serve them well in the future.

“You will become known as the Class of 2026,” he said.

The ceremony concluded with a slideshow of the students during their time at Hamden Hall. Click here to view.

Hamden Hall Country Day School

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Hamden Hall Country Day School is a nurturing and inclusive community with a dynamic learning environment that promotes academic excellence by understanding each child and fostering their individual growth.