On Thursday, June 9, the eighth grade Class of 2016 gathered on TASIS England’s south campus for the Middle School Graduation Ceremony.
Head of Middle School, Mrs. Debi Cross, greeted the audience of students, faculty, families, and friends. She talked about the transition from middle to upper school and how to draw on middle school experiences. “Eighth Graders, you are making your way across the bridge to a new stage in your life…a place where there is no more recess!? Class of 2016, find your recess in every day. I hope you all take a little bit of Middle School wherever you go. You have completed it, yes, but it can remain part of you in a positive way. “
Ms. Higgins was the faculty speaker this year and she spoke eloquently about how to build a frame around the night’s celebration and an understanding of how to make the most of this tradition; the marking of the passage on to high school.
The three middle school speakers, selected by their peers to address the audience, were Olivia Hunt, Spencer Michaels and William Roose. They each spoke about the transition from middle to upper school from their unique points of view.
Olivia discussed the importance of facing the unknown as eighth grade move up to ninth grade, “As students we must always face our fears and the unknown and take risks in order to succeed.” Spencer described the four photos that defined his and the class’ time here at the TASIS Middle School, including a photo of the graduating class snapped from the stage! William talked of the challenges ahead, “High School will challenge us to achieve things we never thought possible … this is a time when we can explore our unique talents and gifts.”
Specific awards were presented to outstanding students for Excellence in Academics at the MS Awards Ceremony the week before graduation. The awards presented at the Graduation ceremony were:
The Middle School Merit Awards
Presented to Luis Pablo Arriaga Gonzalez, Addison Craig, Daniella Larsson, Bradey Yarbrough
The Merit Award is presented to students who have distinguished themselves for unique reasons. The recipients have enhanced the quality of life within our community.
The Carpe Diem Award
Presented to Abigail Florek
The Carpe Diem Award recognizes the student who has demonstrated significant growth during the time spent at TASIS, a realization of the importance of balance in one’s life, a meaningful effort made to acquire it, and the possession of a friendly, positive and empathetic spirit that enriches those around him or her.
The Scholarship Award
Presented to Allegra Hill and Martina Insulla
The Scholarship Award is presented to the student with the highest academic standing in his or her grade, based on Grade Point Average. The winning student this year has maintained the highest, that is a 4.33 average, through to the end of the Third Quarter/midway through the Second Semester this year.
The Kim H Betts Citizenship Award
Presented to Brook Walls
The Citizenship Award honors the student who, in an exemplary manner, has represented
his or her school and country, and has consistently demonstrated a caring and respectful attitude toward others.
The Faculty Award
Presented to Spencer Michaels
The Faculty Award is presented to the student who best exemplifies commitment to the ideals of character, integrity, positive attitude, academic achievement and service to the school. The recipient is decided by faculty vote.
The Faculty Award was renamed the Deborah A Cross Faculty Award in honor of Mrs. Cross’ 35 years at TASIS England and on her retirement this June.
With the awards presented, Dr. Hong, Mrs. Cross, and Ms Erickson called each of the students to the stage for the presentation of diplomas. Closing remarks were made by Dr. Hong and Ms Erickson.
Musical interludes included a piece by the Eighth Grade Band and a solo by Gabriela Snyders. High Tea on the sunny lawn was enjoyed after the ceremony.