Fifth grade students – who were described by their principals and teachers as a strong community of learners and friends who care about one another – celebrated their achievements and the successful completion of their elementary school days during a moving-up ceremony on June 20.
Assistant Principal Adrienne Laitman 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’ kindness and acceptance of each other’s differences and ability to appreciate them.
“We celebrate a very special group of students,” Murray said. “As they leave elementary school and begin a new chapter in their lives, they will most likely reflect on all of the wonderful opportunities that they have had here with us. They will remember the fun that they had, the learning experiences they participated in, the strong friendships that they built along the way and the supportive teachers that they had.”
Murray acknowledged that the students are ready to meet new challenges because they are a group of learners who are open to trying and willing to fail as part of the learning process. She said they have consistently thought critically about topics and ideas, engaged in meaningful discussions with each other and have been curious and thoughtful in their learning.
“Whether you were building a cardboard structure in MakerSpace in second grade, creating a public service announcement on fair trade in third grade, designing a wigwam in fourth grade or building a friendly monster in fifth grade, you encountered challenges, made mistakes and came up with a final product in the end that you were proud of,” Murray said. “This exemplifies your learning process, and it was your willingness to fail that led you there.”
Murray expressed gratitude toward the teachers for their dedication to the students, and to Laitman, who is retiring after 22 years of service to the district, for all of her contributions to the school. She also thanked all parents for their support of the Bronxville School, and encouraged the students to always remember the strong community they have built together.
“We are so very proud of all that you have learned and accomplished here at Bronxville Elementary School,” Murray said. “As your teachers said, ‘You have big personalities and big hearts.’ And that’s how we know you will do great things.”
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, to the applause of friends and family. The ceremony concluded with a performance of Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life),” under the direction of Marina Brown.