Grade Eight Moving-Up Ceremony: The Start of Something New

On June 9, 2023, the Oak Knoll Class of 2027 officially entered grade 9 as they celebrated Moving-Up Day. Class President Caroline Burr opened the event by saying, “Our theme for this ceremony is the start of something new. As is wonderfully stated on the program, and with that beautiful butterfly illustration on the front to represent the start of something new, we will be continuing to spread our wings over the next four years. There will be new friends, harder classes, and more competitive sports. The sky’s the limit with what we may choose to do throughout our next four years.”

The ceremony began with a procession as the students entered the Mother Mary Campion Center for the Performing Arts and seated themselves at the head of the auditorium facing their teachers, parents/guardians, siblings, staff, Head of School, and Upper School Division Head. Various students participated by reading scripture, offering reflections, and reading poems, including an original poem by Alani Bolivar ’23. “The years have been fun. The years have been great. And now it’s time to open a new gate. A gate to freedom, independence, and more. Following our passions and ourselves to the core. So on this day, I hope we all take flight. Remembering that we all carry a light. And as we move on, and grow as a grade. Let’s show the world how we are made,” concluded Bolivar in her poem.

In her own remarks to students, Head of School Jennifer Landis shared, “You are about to embark on one of the great starts of something new in life — high school — and I hope as you try all sorts of new things, you learn more and more about yourselves and one another, and build lots of new relationships.”

Upper School Division Head Kate McGroarty added, “You are about to step onto a stage where you’ll discover who you truly are, embrace your passion and pursue your dreams. High school is a time of growth, exploration, and self-discovery. It offers an opportunity to break free from the confines of the familiar and step into a world of endless possibilities. Throughout your seventh and eighth grade years, I have witnessed your incredible growth, both academically and personally. You have shown resilience, determination, and a hunger for knowledge. You have learned to overcome obstacles, work collaboratively, and embrace diversity. Remember that you are not alone on this journey. Your teachers, mentors, and parents have been your guiding lights, and they will help you navigate the challenges and cheer you on every step of the way. May your journey in the upper school continue to be filled with passion, growth, and endless possibilities.”

Grade 8 Vice President Rorygrace Thompson closed the ceremony and remarked, “You may be nervous for what lies ahead, but we are ready to start something new in our shared home at Oak Knoll.”

The rising ninth graders form the backbone of a class that will welcome many new incoming students next year to form an even more robust Class of 2027 family. Congratulations to them all and all the best next year.