Bronxville Elementary School fifth graders marked the successful completion of their elementary school days during an in-person moving-up ceremony before an audience of family, friends, teachers and administrators on June 23.
Assistant Principal Rakiya Adams welcomed the guests and honorees before student council representatives led the Pledge of Allegiance. The ceremony continued with an address by Principal Tricia Murray, who reflected on the students’ determination, persistence, perseverance and resilience during a challenging school year.
“We teach children that when faced with a challenge, they have the tools and the strength to do what it takes to rise above it,” Murray said. “These last 466 days certainly put all of that to the test. But somehow, they were able to form a strong classroom community, even though they were socially distant. They were able to learn, ask questions and grow together even behind plexiglass, wearing a mask or on Zoom. Being able to put all of that aside and knowing that they were going to make this year impactful and joyful is an example of true resilience.”
Murray said she admired the students for their independence, optimism and flexibility in adapting to a unique learning environment.
“We learned together all year, offered each other compassion when met with hard situations and learned to be grateful that we were together,” she said. “They were creative with the limitations set before them and exceeded even our highest expectations. They were remarkable, and we will always remember them as walking through a pandemic with us.”
Throughout the next chapter of their educational journey, Murray encouraged the students to continue to build on the pillars of the Bronxville Promise by thinking critically about complicated issues, leading through collaboration, innovating to solve complex problems and engaging in the world around them. She also encouraged them to remember the lessons they learned in elementary school, such as the importance of being respectful, responsible, safe, empathetic, kind and compassionate. Speaking on behalf of their teachers and parents, Murray said they are all proud of the fifth graders and wished them continued success in middle school.
“As you have grown up with us in this school, we have gotten to know each and every one of you, your strengths, talents and joys,” she said. “Our wish for you is that you continue to be you as you set forth on this next journey.”
Signifying the conclusion of one chapter and the beginning of another, the students were called one by one to accept their certificates, which were handed out by their fifth grade teachers. The ceremony concluded with a performance of Bruno Mars’ “Count on Me,” under the direction of Marina Brown, as a testament to the students’ ability to support each other during challenging times.