Friday was a proud day for the Wilmington Montessori School community as we celebrated the graduation of the 10 members of the Class of 2015.
The morning started out with a breakfast for the graduates, their families, and WMS teachers and staff. Head of School Lisa Lalama shared opening remarks, reflecting on the strengths of the graduates as individuals, as well as their power as a group:
"Our goal is always to honor the individuality each of you possess, keeping it intact as you stretch, grow, learn, question and wonder," Lisa said. "For it is that individuality that is leading you forward and taking you to places you might imagine but many you don't even yet know exist."
Following Lisa's speech, Assistant Head of School Laurie Orsic presented special certificates to the graduates, describing their unique gifts and interests, which were carefully identified by the 9-12 teachers. Specials teachers also recognized each graduate by sharing lists of each child's distinguishing traits as they gave them their personalized graduation posters.
After breakfast, 9-12 students spent time signing each other's memory books before it was time for the sixth-graders to head to the gym for the graduation ceremony. Once the graduates entered the gym, Lisa introduced the graduation speaker Savannah Strange (WMS class of 2007). Learn more about Savannah
, read the full text of her speech
or watch it on video below.
Wilmington Montessori School 2015 Graduation Speaker: Savannah Strange, Class of 2007
The annual tradition of watching a slide show of memories of each graduate throughout the years brought forth both laughter and tears from the graduates and their guests. The class of 2015 then came onto the stage for another WMS tradition - sharing the poems they wrote, entitled "Where I'm From
." Each poem was different, but reflected similar sentiments - the child's gratitude for their families and their love for WMS. These poems will be compiled into a book that is placed in the admissions waiting room - be sure to check them out next time you're in the building.
"I'm from WMS where I've had great fun
I will carry the memories of my experiences with me
as I move on to new adventures in my life."
- Allie Spatafora
"I am from Room 1
where I took my first step,
to graduating on this stage.
But most of all I am from WMS,
from where I met my best friends,
from where it all started,
and from where I became who I am."
- Audrey Holveck
"I'm from never saying a word at school
to being one of the kids who never puts their hand down.
I'm from amazing field trips like the Philadelphia Zoo, Camp Ockanickon and NYC.
I'm from Room 18 with Trish and Trish, to Room 9 with my mom and Shelley.
And thinking the artist in residence program was the coolest thing ever.
but most of all I'm from the place it all began, where learning became fun and exciting,
From the school that gave me my courage and made me who I am.
I'm from WMS."
- Sarah Breger
"But most importantly, I'm from WMS
from being an infant in a crib
to Betsy's class playing with green slime
to going with Angie to see horseshoe crabs in 1st grade
and now finishing 6th grade
realizing that I'm graduating
and moving on to something new."
- Alexa Donahue
Sarah Breger and Mavis Florence-Bushnell spoke about the sixth-grade trip to the U.N.
Along with sharing their poems, Sarah Breger and Mavis Florence-Bushnell also spoke about their sixth-grade trip to the United Nations and their efforts to raise funds and awareness for Save the Rain
. Through Spirit Week, the class raised $650 for Save the Rain this year. Shannon Surbrook-Bowers spoke about the sixth-grade gift - a labyrinth in the woods. The graduates hope the entire WMS community will take time to enjoy this gift (photo below).
Then, the big moment arrived - the presentation of diplomas!
As the ceremony drew to a close, friends and family members selected by the class of 2015 came to the stage to bring the graduates bags full of fun gifts for the graduates, who were then ready to celebrate!
Thank you to everyone who helped make this memorable day happen! We look forward to staying in touch with our graduates and finding out what the future holds for each of them.
The sixth-graders pose in the labyrinth they created as their gift to the WMS with the help of WMS mom Lisa Surbrook.