Graduation 2015

Congratulations to our seven graduates! Here are a few photos from Tuesday’s ceremony. There are more to come, as well as a video, after I do some editing.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Many thanks from the class of 2014

Here is one last video from this year’s graduation ceremony. This class of sixteen had many teachers in the years they were at North Branch. They thank them all in this video! The audio in the beginning is from the Thanksgiving program in 2009, when the graduates were in fourth grade.



The graduating class of 2014

On June 3rd, we said goodbye to the largest graduating North Branch class in the school’s history. Sixteen students graduated – many of them had been at NBS for more than eight years. In keeping with North Branch tradition, they all received an engraved Jefferson Cup. We wish all of the graduating students good luck and health as they begin their journey into high school. I will have more videos from graduation (including the teacher thank you segment) in the coming week. Happy summer!



North Branch Class of 2013

Congratulations to all six of our 8th grade graduates! Sarah Gerome (K/1 teacher for these students), don’t miss the 3:15 mark – the graduates and audience gave you a virtual hug. I will post another video of the program soon.

The graduates

Here is the second video of our June 1st graduation ceremony. I hope you enjoy it. Congratulations once again to the graduates, their families and their teachers! Look for some breakout dancing around the 3:40 mark…

The North Branch School Graduating Class of 2012

What could I possibly say that would do justice to the ceremony on Friday night? This year’s graduation was the 27th year of graduating 8th graders and the start of North Branch’s 30th year. We said goodbye to five graduates and to Michael, our beloved senior and art teacher. There were happy and sad tears and also a lot of laughter. I ended up with so much video from the evening I split it into two parts. Here’s the first one!

Special thanks to Jennifer Stuart for working with the 7th and 8th graders to compose the graduation song used in the video.

North Branch School Graduation 2011

On Friday, June 7th, seven students graduated from the eighth grade at North Branch. The ceremony included music, several performances by different classes, thank-yous from Charlotte, a goodbye to Shani and Regina, and gifts to the teachers. Each graduate spoke; several performed a musical piece. I was struck by a few things while watching the ceremony: these students are thirteen or fourteen, yet they all seemed very comfortable speaking in front of a fairly large audience. I think this is partly because of Friday assembly. Assembly is a regular part of the week at North Branch – half an hour each week that students get up and share lessons or perform a song or music. By the time they get to eighth grade, they are unusually comfortable with public speaking.

The graduates perform with Katrien one last time

Each student also had very specific, fond memories of things that happened up to eight years ago, which is a long time when you’re fourteen! The graduates remembered things like: Sarah complimenting them on a block structure in kindergarten, watching Monarch butterflies grow in Natasha’s second grade class, particular friends they made in nursery and learning multiplication with Robin and Toni. Happily, each of these teachers was  present to hear their former students reminisce. The graduates also had wonderful and funny things to say to their more recent teachers. It was all a testament to the longevity of the teaching staff at North Branch.

The teachers were thanked with pottery by Trina Player

Louise, Addy and Tess sang "Imagine

Ben had specific thanks for teachers all the way back to kindergarten

Louise enlisted her fellow graduates for an improv song

Stephen thanked his teachers and parents and then played Canon in D on the piano

Louise, like many of her classmates, had fond memories of watching the monarch butterflies grow in Natasha's 2nd grade class

Dakota had one of my favorite quotes of the evening: "She taught us about the real world, which, as far as I can tell, is kind of boring."

Addy was the 2011 graduate who had been at North Branch the longest

Tess read from Desiderata for part of her speech

Lawson got a big laugh when he presented the school with an eyeglass repair kit

You can see other pictures of the North Branch graduation at Stephanie Gross’ website:

Graduation 2010

Wednesday, June 2nd marked North Branch School’s 27th annual graduation ceremony. This year we had four graduates: Orion Bloom, Kyra Miller, Zach Volpendesta and Gwynne Wood.

The graduates: Zach, Gwynne, Orion and Kyra

We had warm but beautiful weather for graduation. Charlotte began by thanking parent helpers and volunteers. The teachers’ efforts throughout the year were also applauded. They received a lovely gift of chocolates made by Rachel Smith, North Branch class of 2000.

Charlotte thanks all of the teachers

After that, we sang goodbye to beloved Junior class teacher Robin Luecke. The Middle Schoolers, along with Michael and Katrien, made up this song to the tune of “Ghost Riders in The Sky.”

Robin receiving a plum tree as a goodbye gift

Next, the four graduates were serenaded with a personalized version of “Rattlin’ Bog” that Charlotte and company had modified for the graduates.

“Pomp and Circumstance,” in classic North Branchian recorder style, accompanied the grads on their traditional walk around the circle.

Each student took a few moments to talk about their experiences at North Branch and to thank teachers, parents and friends.

In this next video, graduate Orion Bloom plays “In a Sentimental Mood” on the trumpet. Sorry for the in-audience filming, but he did such a nice job I thought it should be posted anyway.

After the ceremony, we sang the traditional year-end wish for joy and health as we left the circle. People lingered (well, some of the younger and more eager members of the audience rushed straight to the dessert table) to speak with the graduates, say goodbye to teachers, and enjoy the various cakes, cookies and fruit.

And another school year has gone! It really is true what “they” say about life with children: the days are long but the years are short.

Please check back – I will be posting more videos and photos from graduation over the weekend.