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An Extraordinary Class: A Celebration of Our Elementary

Baltimore Harbor Trip

Baltimore Harbor Trip

Welcome to the first Elementary Celebration.  We are here for several reasons. We are here because I learned at Thanksgiving that elementary families bring awesome food to potlucks. We are also here to (1) recognize the extraordinary growth that has taken place this year, (2) to celebrate the remarkable closeness of elementary, (3) to say goodbye to departing students and families, and most of all, (4) to remind ourselves that no matter where our paths lead, the time we have spent together at Evergreen has touched us all.

Everyone knows that I am the newcomer.  But from the beginning I recognized that Elementary is magical.  It is unlike any classroom I’ve ever seen.  When I arrived, I wasn’t used to students working independently. I wasn’t used to children helping each other. I wasn’t used to being served guacamole from special family recipes and given handmade paper Valentines. I wasn’t used to children taking care of their room, their dishes, recycling. I wasn’t used to children caring about people from other cultures. I wasn’t used to presentations in office buildings and jewelry sales at markets.  I wasn’t used to children sobbing and sobbing when a classmate departed midway through the year. But I learned: in Evergreen elementary, that’s normal stuff.

Poor me. I wasn’t used to Evergreen parents. The kind that shares their talent including the Day of the Dead, Impressionism, robotics teams, afternoon music classes, trip chaperones, that Thanksgiving lunch I mentioned, mending fences, planting grasses and installing pergolas, collecting boxtops, leading PAC and the For’Ever Fund. The two auction chairs came from elementary. And the other two auction chairs did, too.  Deck chairs and the co-chairs.  (I’ll give you a minute to figure that out.) There was even a parent band at winter festival—I can’t thank our elementary parents enough for their support, leadership, creativity and dedication.

And finally I wasn’t used to teachers like Mrs. Hatziyannis and Ms. Lourdes.  I came with a lot of preconceived notions. Teachers don’t drive the bus.  Here at Evergreen they do. They don’t customize a curriculum for each child.  Here they do.  Teachers aren’t auctioneers.  They don’t organize symposia or wopelas. They don’t haul huge hollow logs to playgrounds.  But of course, these two do. I want to thank them for all they have done for these children and for the school.  (What a pair!)

To our ten elementary students, I say, congratulations on a great year.  You have each grown so much.  Just look at your school picture on the back of the program… taken in October!

To our departing students, I say, remember your extraordinary time here.  I can’t tell you how much we will miss you. May your next destination be as it is here: as special, as magical, as loving.  May you always carry the light of Evergreen inside you– and let it shine to everyone you meet.  Make us, your parents and yourselves proud.

  1. Natalie
    June 13, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Your school sounds great! Good to know you had a fulfilling year with your students.

  2. June 14, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Thanks so much, Natalie– Graduations are always such emotional events. It is impossible not to get so attached to the people who surround you every day.

    It is hard to believe that we are already getting ready for camp to start Monday.

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