At the end of a typical school year, we honor and celebrate our sixth-year graduates and their families on campus with a graduation ceremony and after party—lovely speeches, delicious food, laughter, tears and lots and lots of Fitz’s root beer. This year the pandemic forced us to change our plans and get creative. Graduating families came in their cars, to watch a parade put on by our community and a screening of their pre-recorded speeches, all the while maintaining a safe distance (and yes, there was root beer!).
While we did put on a pretty magnificent social-distancing ceremony (if we do say so ourselves), we think the graduates deserve to be celebrated just a little bit more. Over the next few weeks we’ll highlight each of our sixth-year graduates on the blog. You’ll meet some of the best people we know, children we love and have watched grow and develop into thoughtful, funny, curious, exciting and vibrant young people. And you’ll get to watch their graduation speeches! Today, we’ll kick off the series with Kemp.
Kemp is incredible, a huge cat lover, kind to everyone, supporting and very, very funny. He’s always helping his friends out. I will miss him so much. He’s a great person to have in the classroom. Upper Elementary fifth-year student
Villa di Maria: Introduce yourself! Tell us something you think everyone should know about you.
Kemp: Hello! I am Kemp. I have been playing piano ever since I was 4 and I have carried my piano-playing passion to 6th grade.
VdM: What are your hobbies and interests? What do you like to do for fun?
Kemp: My main hobbies are piano, sudoku and card games. One of my favorite card games is called The Game and Catan.
VdM: Do you have a favorite book or movie (or both)? What is it and why?
Kemp: My favorite movie is The Lego Batman Movie because it is both filled with humor and action. My favorite book is The Secret Garden because it is written in a great way and because of its story.
VdM: Tell us something about yourself that you are proud of.
Kemp: I am proud that I play many sports and that I am adventurous in eating and exploring the world around me.
VdM: How old were you when you started at Villa di Maria? Where did you go before VdM?
Kemp: Before Villa, I went to a school called Campbell Montessori. It closed down after my second grade and so we started Villa.
VdM: Let’s talk about this school year… how do you feel about closing out your last year at Villa di Maria with distance learning?
Kemp: I think that it was interesting, and though I miss my friends, I know that I will see them again. I was not expecting this in my last year at Villa.
VdM: What do you miss most about being on campus?
Kemp: What I miss most about Villa is all of the fields and just all of it.
VdM: What’s next for you? Where will you be going to middle school?
Kemp: My next school will be ATI, and I am looking forward to being able to travel to Villa from ATI and that ATI and Villa are linked.
VdM: What is something you’re most excited about going into your new school? Is there anything you’re not excited about?
Kemp: I am excited about my next year at ATI because of the freedom they allow the students. I am not excited about leaving Villa and the friends I made there.
To Kemp: You’re a great leader, a great reader. You’re very smart and you have a big heart. You never tell a lie and you’re a very nice guy. Upper Elementary fourth-year student
VdM: Last but not least, you graduated from Villa di Maria!! How are you going to celebrate this summer?
Kemp: I am going to celebrate my summer by relaxing and playing outdoors. Getting back with friends and family, saying hello to my friends, and having fun.
Thank you, Kemp! We will miss you seeing you everyday next year. You bring joy and humor everywhere we go and we know that will take you far. Good luck and have fun!
And now… Kemp’s graduation speech:
Photos courtesy of Kemp’s family and Melinda Smith.