It is tradition to share some of the wonderful character traits that we have observed and grown to love about our 8th graders. In just one school year, it was clear to me that the Class of 2022 is remarkable in many ways. Here I share just a few.
You are a true community. As a grade you faced one of the most difficult experiences any individual or community could face with the tragic loss of a friend and classmate. In spite of all of your differences, you united and continued to support and remind each other that you truly love and care for one another. This is a testament to you as individuals and to you as a community.
You are bright, witty, motivated to succeed, and strong academically. Throughout this year, each of your teachers has expressed to me the high level of critical and creative thinking you all bring to your class discussions and the work that you do.
You are also exceptionally talented. As a class you lead the middle school and at times have led the whole upper school community in music, theater, academic achievement, athletics, and school assemblies. You delight in each other’s achievements. And let’s face it, if you could have competed against the high school grades in Zimriyah, you would have won that also!
You have a strong sense of what is just and fair. Though you still need reminders of the appropriate time and place for sharing your thoughts, you have engaged our community in important discussions of what is just and fair for our JDS community and for the world at large. This sense of justice and fairness is an important characteristic that will help guide you through your time in high school and beyond.
Finally, you are leaders. An important test of character for any person and their leadership is what happens when you are out of your comfort zone. These school walls are your comfort zone. Some might even call JDS your home away from home. We, the faculty, were most proud of your leadership this year during our Lehmann Day of Community Service. Faculty members on each trip were impressed by how you role modeled to each other and younger peers what it meant to devote time and energy to serving others in need.
It is with pleasure and pride that I award you your certificates of completion tonight and that I can call you my first graduating 8th grade class at JDS.
May you continue to be a source of strength for one another and relish in each other’s achievements. Mazal Tov.