It was a day of celebration for the 68 eighth-graders graduating today. The day's events began with a Faculty–Class of 2019 Breakfast and continued with the graduation ceremony under sunny skies on The Green.
Addressing the graduates, Middle School Head Krista Demas shared her deep appreciation for the way the class has distinguished itself as an inclusive, kind community. “You have made kindness the 'new cool.' You live out the ideal that no one is better than anyone else, and you make sure everyone is valued and included. You regularly bring your best selves.” Krista ended by reading a passage from Margaret Wheatley’s Turing to One Another. When Wheatley writes, "I believe we can change the world if we start talking to one another again,” it was clear that Krista saw the Class of 2019 as one prepared to change the world.
In his remarks, Head of School Mark Stanek put Krista’s appreciation in the context of high school. “Next year, you will be entering a new community. As humans, we have an innate desire to feel accepted and to belong. As you seek new friends next year, my wish for you is to stay true to yourself and exhibit ‘social courage.’ Social courage means not conforming to the expectations of others. It means being your true self. It is about being unafraid to be unapologetically you and to do the right thing, even in the face of social pressure. Being willing to disagree in the face of social disapproval takes courage and confidence. Throughout your journey at Shady Hill, you have learned valuable skills and lessons. I am confident that you will display empathy, social courage, and creative thinking to get through complicated situations.”