2023 Kindergarten Graduation: Students Make the Grade

“We want to be a part of it! First grade, first grade,” they sang joyously to the tune of “New York, New York,” after receiving their certificates and officially moving up to become Oak Knoll’s new Lower School Grade One. On June 6, 2023, their Kindergarten teachers, parents, faculty, staff, Head of School Jennifer G. Landis, and Lower School Division Head Chris Spies were there to cheer them on in the Bonaventura Chapel and celebrate their past year of learning and growth.

“Your kids have grown so much this year and I just want to thank you for blessing us with them. It’s our joy to be with your children each and every day,” Spies relayed in her opening remarks. “I thank our teachers, because they have done such a great job, challenging these students academically, but also instilling in them Holy Child values, passion, kindness, and empathy. Our teachers are dedicated to an exciting program where your children are learning to look at everything with wonder and a focus on gratitude. We are so grateful for all that God has blessed us with, and today we are celebrating these special blessings — these children with their unique gifts and talents.”

The graduation celebration was punctuated with wonderful performances by our Kindergarten students, including songs about gratitude, growth, and friends. The students also demonstrated their collective confidence in front of the attendees by acting out the Parable of the Mustard Seed, and the Parable of the Sower from scripture.

Father Matthew Gonzalez, Parochial Vicar at St. Bartholomew Parish in Scotch Plains, NJ, officiated the celebration including the opening prayer and homily. “Here in this beautiful place, in this beautiful community, you can continue to grow, and all of us in the community might continue to cultivate that growing in knowledge and love,”  said Fr. Gonzalez. “That is our hope for you, that you might grow deep, deep roots and grow like an oak tree — big and strong so that you can be leaders in the world.”

After thanking their parents and inviting all in attendance to join them for snacks and refreshments on the Lower School patio, the brand new first grade students ended the celebration to cheers and some gentle tears of joy as they sang, “I am a promise. I am a possibility. I am a promise, with a capital P.”