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 meet Rachel.
Rachel is a great role model and classmate 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.
Rachel: Hi. My name is Rachel and I have just graduated from Villa di Maria Montessori.
VdM: What are your hobbies and interests? What do you like to do for fun?
Rachel: I like to go on hikes and walk my dog. But when I’m not outside or playing games, I read, read, read.
VdM: Do you have a favorite book or movie (or both)? What is it and why?
Rachel: My favorite book series is Wings of Fire by Tui T. Sutherland. I can’t even count how many times I’ve re-read the series and I highly suggest anyone interested in dragons, adventure, etc. to read the series themselves.
VdM: Tell us something about yourself that you are proud of.
Rachel: I love that I have the talent to draw lovely animals. (I wish I could draw humans though. I’m still working on that.)
VdM: How old were you when you started at Villa di Maria? Where did you go before VdM?
Rachel: When I first went to Villa, I was about five years old in Mrs. McCauley’s classroom. One of my favorite memories of being in her class was on my birthday. I still remember the delighted faces of the children staring hungrily at my birthday rainbow cake.
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?
Rachel: I would have loved, and preferred, to have ended the school year socially. But I’m happy that I at least get to say goodbye.
VdM: What do you miss most about being on campus?
Rachel: I miss the trees and the artistic vibe that I got from the one-of-a-kind campus that I wouldn’t find anywhere else.
VdM: What’s next for you? Where will you be going to middle school?
Rachel: I am not yet aware of what’s ahead of me for my next school, but it will be in Texas.
VdM: What is something you’re most excited about going into your new school? Is there anything you’re not excited about?
Rachel: I’ll be excited to meet new people and to discover new things.
VdM: Last but not least, you graduated from Villa di Maria!! How are you going to celebrate this summer?
Rachel: By packing up my stuff, moving to Texas, getting a new house, and starting a new adventure in my next chapter of the story!
To Rachel: You’re very well read, also resourceful and kind. We’ll all miss you. Upper Elementary fourth-year student
Thank you, Rachel! We will miss you and your family, but we know you will have a great life and do amazing things in Texas.
And now… Rachel’s graduation speech:
Photos courtesy of Rachel’s family and Melinda Smith.