On Wednesday, June 9, Kent School celebrated the Graduation of its 52nd class of Eighth Grade students and the culmination of a challenging, yet rewarding, academic year of in person instruction.
The sixteen members of the Class of 2021 were joined by families for an outdoor ceremony on the riverside field at Kent School and were recognized for their unique contributions to the Class and individual achievements.
In Head of School Nancy Mugele’s opening remarks, she said, “Thank you, Class of 2021, for having so much school spirit, for always lending a hand, and for leading the School in a great way during this unprecedented academic year and finding safe ways to keep many of our traditions going. Kent School has given you an extraordinary foundation and instilled in you a love of learning – a love, I hope, that will last a lifetime. We have taught you how to think for yourself and how to ask good questions. You have learned many lessons inside and outside of the classroom, and have grown into empathetic, honorable and responsible citizens. And, I know you are ready to take your place in your new high school communities.”
In addition to Mugele’s opening remarks, two students addressed the audience. Allison Davis ‘21 and Tori Nessly ‘21, spoke along with alumna Kristen Merrill Hyland ‘95 who gave the Graduation address. Allison Davis spoke beautifully about learning to be brave.
“Every mishap, every field trip, every project, I wanted to do it over and over, a feeling I doubt I’ve ever felt anywhere else. ” Allison said. “Kent School makes me feel whole, like a second home, and with every moment, I yearn to go back and make the same memories again and again. It has made me learn to be brave in my choices, it has made me feel like I belong.”
Nessly spoke about growing up at Kent School from learning how to tie her shows to learning quadratic equations.
“I’m not sure how to even describe how grateful I am to have spent my Preschool, Elementary, and Middle School career at Kent School with all of the teachers,” Tori said. “This is Kent School to me, every single person here today is Kent School to me.”
Ms. Hyland is a member of the T. Rowe Price Global Talent Acquisition team and serves as the Early Talent University Relationship leader where she oversees development and implementation of internship and full time recruitment strategies across the firm’s University partnerships globally. She welcomed the Class of 2021 into a community of supportive Kent School alumni. She spoke of the special bonds and shared memories among all Kent School graduates and encouraged the sixteen graduates to engage with the community in future years.
“On behalf of the entire Kent School Alumni community, I am honored to be the first to welcome you to the most incredible network of friends, peers, colleagues, and in some cases…classmates who ended up marrying each other…all of whom have sat in the exact seats you are sitting in today,” Ms. Hyland said. “You may not know each and every one of us by name, but I assure you as you go off to high school and navigate the seasons of your life, you are surrounded by a community of individuals who are waiting in the wings to support you, guide you, catch you, encourage you and maybe even offer you a job.”
In addition to celebrating each graduate, several recognitions and awards were presented at graduation day and at Awards Day, held the day before graduation. On Awards Day, the Brian B. Kane Scholarship, awarded each year to a Seventh Grade student was awarded to Layla Kent. The Brian B. Kane Scholarship honors a Seventh Grade student who demonstrates determined effort, quality academic work, and helpful, cooperative and responsible attitude.
At Graduation, retiring Math Teacher Ellen Mischke was recognized for her service and dedication to her students. Ellen was presented with a commemorative Kent School chair to mark her years of service.
Students receiving special achievement awards at Graduation were, Gavin Larrimore, Recipient of the Americanism Award, Jude Gross, recipient of the Joan C. Merriken Award for Excellence in Literature and Victoria MacGlashan and Ellie Macielag who were both awarded the Osprey Award. The Americanism Award is presented by the Sgt. Preston Ashley American Legion Post 228 of Rock Hall and is awarded to the student who demonstrates the qualities of courage, honor, leadership, patriotism, scholarship and service. The Joan C. Merriken Award for Excellence in Literature is awarded each year to the student who demonstrates a love of literature, appreciation of and sensitivity to the writer’s art and the ability to use reading as a well-spring for rich self-expression. The Osprey Award is given in recognition of the student or students who best represent the most positive qualities of moral leadership and excellence to the Kent School community. Mugele continued, “I could not be more proud of Gavin, Jude, Victoria and Ellie and all of the personal characteristics that make each of them deserving recipients.”
The ceremony concluded with the distribution of graduate certificates to each student accompanied by personal remarks on their experiences, achievements and relationships cultivated over their years at Kent School.
Members of the Class of 2021 will be attending the following secondary schools:
The Hill School
The Gunston School
Kent County High School
Queen Anne’s County High School
Wyoming Seminary School