“This is history,” said Marsha Grazman, head of school for the Saul Mirowitz Day School-Reform Jewish Academy, at the graduation ceremony for its first graduating class. “This is truly a historic moment.”
The school, which accepted its first kindergarten class — comprising nine students — in 2000, said farewell to its six fifth-grade students on June 5.
“I salute you as the pioneers of this wonderful school, the students who lead the journey, whose voices and choices were formed and influenced our way,” Grazman said.
After the teachers spoke personally and in depth about each of the graduating students, Carol Rubin, assistant head of school, spoke and said the students were nervous before the ceremony, “and they did such a wonderful job. They were poised, they said their lines.”
Rubin lead the parents in a blessing “on behalf of our students and on behalf of those who teach them every day … May their noblest dreams and hopes be fulfilled, and may they be blessed with patience, kindness and fortitude.”
Benjamin Levy, Grant Wheeler, Adam Levy, Presley Culp, Aaron Levy and Sam Gallup each stepped up to accept their certificates, and then joined their family and friends for a patio reception to celebrate the big day.
The graduates will be attending MICDS, Parkway South, Parkway Central and Parkway Northeast in the fall.
Cheryl Maayan, who taught the class in third grade and has worked with some of the students for additional years, said it was “amazing, and very powerful, to see them come this far and to see the school that was just a dream and these kids go through their kindergarten years up through fifth grade, and watch them learn and grow; it is just astounding to see how much they have learned.”
Presley Culp, the only remaining girl in the graduating class — which she admitted “was difficult, but it wasn’t like it killed me” — was not ready to say good-bye to SMDS-RJA.
“I love it here,” she said.
Culp did say she was ready for the next step however, and that her plans for next year are “going to MICDS and having a great year.”
Keren Douek is an assistant editor and can be reached at [email protected]