A graduation evening

I used to think the idea of a graduation event for my kids when they finished primary school was overkill. I mean seriously, it’s just primary school isn’t it. But last night, at the third primary school graduation event I’ve been to, I realised the effort that teachers, school and volunteer parents put in to create this special event, was worth it. I was tweeting it last night, and I wanted to do a quick blog post summary of the highlights before the school holidays come and are taken over by the excitement of starting a new high school.

For me the highlights were –

  • the slideshow at the start created by Michael’s year 7 teacher Mark Walters and a couple of the students. It showed the students throughout their years of primary school.
  • the presence of so many teachers from the school from other grades. Many of these teachers had taught the graduands throughout the past seven years and it was lovely to see them all attend the evening despite it being outside of work hours. Many teachers do this regularly – Mr Fed and Miss Irwin of course being regular outside school hours attendees at every SkateNight I’ve ever been to.
  • Mrs K’s very excellent speech to the students – about having a go and never giving up on your dreams – and of course there was her much anticipated anecdote about each individual child from her class.
  • Mark Walter’s poem mentioning every member of his class. While containing lots of in-jokes that only the students understood, like Mrs K’s speech, the poem was a reflection of Mark’s understanding of each student and their idiosyncracies.
  • The school principal’s Rocky themed entrance to the stage and his Yoda and KungFu Panda quoting speech. I’m also pretty sure there are few primary school principals who would use Eminem as an example of someone who had a dream and worked hard to realise that dream. Brad Clarke – you rock.
  • The P&C’s farewell to families leaving the school. I remember the first year as a P&C member, I thought this was a bit of a daggy thing. But now after being at the school for twelve years I realise how lovely this small tribute is. It’s quite normal for families to be associated with schools for more than a decade. And many of those will have left a mark on the school – whether it be a tree planted or a cake sold to pay for the hall, a sandwich made at the tuckshop or a book read to a student – recognising them with a simple acknowledgement is a tradition I hope continues.
  • Parent Di Davies small gifts to each student.
I’m a star. Thank-you Mrs Davies

Mark Walters let slip that last night was Mrs K’s last graduation evening as she will be retiring part way through 2011.  I can’t imagine EPSS with her wisdom, calm, commitment and energy. I hope that when she does leave, some of the traditions of her generation will remain. Traditions only exist because we as a community make them exist. The graduation evening is a tradition that I hope will remain long after we’ve gone.

Thank you again to the teachers, staff and parents who made last night possible.

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