Lower School Class of 2023 Graduation: Middle School Bound

On Wednesday, June 7, 2023, 34 members of Oak Knoll’s grade 6 class celebrated their Lower School graduation by receiving diplomas and enjoying a special liturgy officiated by Monsignor John J. Carroll, Pastor Emeritus of Our Lady of the Magnificat Church in Kinnelon, NJ, along with their families, faculty/staff, and administrators.

The liturgy and graduation began with students welcoming attendees. “Tonight, as we reflect on our years together in the Lower School, we also look ahead to new schools and our own Upper School. We are fortunate to have been planted on the good ground of Oak Knoll, and we shall promise to grow into mighty oaks. As we leave the Lower School, we must take what we’ve learned about God, family, and friends, and spread this good news with our strong spiritual foundation.”

In addition to reading from scripture, students took center stage to act out the Parable of the Mustard Seed, in which a small seed grows into something big and amazing. “We’ve mastered all sorts of skills in math, science, social studies, language, and religion. And not to mention the arts and talents we learned to share. But most importantly, we learned how to be kind, compassionate, empathetic, and loving. We’ve grown a lot since kindergarten,” the students concluded in their summary of the parable.

Following the liturgy, students received their graduation certificates one by one from Head of School Jennifer G. Landis. Then, Lower School Division Head Christine Spies rose to address the class. 

“Your time at Oak Knoll has positively impacted the lives of others,” Spies said. “Now you will take these special experiences from the Lower School, and the personal faith you have developed here, and head out to the Upper School, or a new school and beyond. At Oak Knoll, we have worked to inspire you to be the change you wish to see in the world. I challenge you to continue this as you graduate and look forward, and as you think back over your years here at Oak Knoll. We hope you do so with a smile on your face and a joy in your heart. May you always remember the special teachers and staff who cared for you and who hope that you will come back and visit even after your graduation today.”

Following the formal liturgy and graduation event, attendees adjourned to the Aileen Maury Dining Hall for an informal reception and hors d’oeuvres. Congratulations to the Oak Knoll Lower School Class of 2023 who will now join their secondary school counterparts to become the future high school classes of 2029.

Once students graduate from Oak Knoll’s coed Lower School, our female students move up and flourish in our all-girls 7-12 Upper School, while male graduates find success at the area’s best secondary schools.

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